Wanted: devil’s advocates to help in selection of Duterte’s Cabinet

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 May) — The Transition Team of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte wants some “devil’s advocates” in the Search and Selection Cluster who will speak for and against the list of personalities being recommended to head key government posts.

A devil’s advocate expresses opinions contrary to the others’ to ensure an interesting discussion on the issue or a person being deliberated on.

Laviña told a press briefing at the Marco Polo Hotel here Friday that they want to ensure that the best of the lot will be appointed by the Duterte.

Peter Lavina, member of the Transition Committee's Search and Selection Committee and spokesperson of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte at the press conference on Friday, May 13. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV Peter Lavina, member of the Transition Committee’s Search and Selection Committee and spokesperson of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte tells a press conference on Friday, May 13 that they want devil’s advocates to help them select the President’s key officials.  MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

The Search and Selection Cluster also wants to make sure that the appointees have a “shared vision, integrity, ability and personal sacrifice.”

The cluster is composed of Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Jun” Evasco, national campaign manager who will head the cluster on Social Services and Development, Duterte’s Exectuive Asisstant Christopher “Bong” Go for Security and Peace and Order, businessman Carlos Dominguez for Economic Development, lawyer Salvador Medialdea for the Judiciary, Duterte Media Team head and spokesperson Peter T. Laviña for Infrastructure Development, and lawyer Loreato C. Ata for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

“Within our group, we have an ongoing discussion on the vetting and selecting. When the name comes up, we try to raise issues for and against. We select the best before we subject them to the approval of the presumptive President,” Laviña said.

He added that they have been receiving applications via e-mail and suggestions of personalities that should take a possible seat in the Duterte Cabinet.

“Some have even submitted full bio-data, presented their curriculum vitae and programs and plans for the incoming administration. We are receiving mails via LBC. We are receiving from everywhere, from ordinary citizens who are suggesting personalities but most of them I am not familiar (with)” he said.

Laviña added that they are giving those suggested personalities a fair shake and will have them checked, validated, and vetted for proper recommendation by the cluster.

He said complete list of cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries for the 17 Cabinet offices will be finalized before June 30, 2016.

June 30 is when Duterte takes his oath as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines and the first Mindanawon to lead the country.

He said they will submit at least three personalities in the shortlist to the presumptive President and it’s up to him who he will he pick up to join his Cabinet.

“But we have to understand that the mayor might have someone in mind already for that position,” he said.

Dominguez said they wanted to make sure that the new administration is fully staffed with qualified personalities.

The Duterte’s search and selection committee is also considering to retain some of the outgoing Cabinet members of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III but “they will be subject to the vetting process,” he said.

He said whoever wins the vice presidency between Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Rep. Leni Robredo is already assured of a Cabinet seat.

“The mayor is very generous and he can work with anyone. Depending on the wish, it will be up to the incoming vice president what will he/she want to head,” he said. (Antonio Colina IV / MindaNews)