President Arroyo has named Esperon, presently the PAPP, as PMS chief effective February 1, vice Cerge Remonde who will take over the post of Press Secretary from Jesus Dureza who will be Presidential Legal Counsel. Esperon’s post will be taken over by Razon.
In a press statement, Pimentel said PMS serves as the think tank and planning arm of the Office of the President and appointing Esperon, a retired general, “merely reinforces the impression that the Arroyo administration is increasingly being militarized by former officers close to the President.”
Pimentel said the PMS chief is also tasked to review and recommend projects intended for funding from the P2-billion President’s Support Fund.
He asked what Esperon has done to deserve the post.
According to the website of the Philippine government, the PMS’ mission is to provide competent, dedicated service to the Presidency in the overall management of the development process, in order to achieve the national goals of winning the fight against poverty, institutionalizing a new politics based on issues, performance and service, moral transformation of the bureaucracy for good governance, and leadership by example.
“We provide the Presidency with recommendations based on timely, reliable, accurate and comprehensive information and recommendations to ensure that the best possible decisions are made; we help create an environment that encourages and facilitates the full and active participation of all sectors, especially the marginalized, in the development process; and we help open avenues for greater access to, and interaction with, the President,” its web page says.
Father Mercado, former Notre Dame University president, told MindaNews, “the musical chairs offer the same faces! Cannot we have more inspiring faces in the Cabinet, especially as PAPP? Razon lied over the kidnapping of (Jun) Lozada. Is this pay time?”
Rodolfo Noel Imperial Lozada, Jr., better known as Jun Lozada, was former president of the Philippine Forest Corporation, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and was star witness of the ZTE broadband scandal. He claimed to have been abducted at the airport when he arrived from Hongkong on February 5, and allegedly threatened by government officials.
Mercado said Dureza as Presidential Legal Counsel “is a big joke! He should have stepped down with dignity.”
Dureza was PAPP until mid-June last year when he took on the role of Press Secretary and then newly-retired general Esperon assumed the post of PAPP. (MindaNews)