Bicolanos for Cabinet Positions, Binay decline offers, Good Luck to Aquino and Binay


by Nenita Fuentebella-Peñones

It’s good news to know that in-coming President Noynoy Aquino will appoint CHR Chairman Lelia de Lima as Secretary of Justice and Naga’s out-going Mayor Jesse Robredo as Secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government. They are qualified and capable. Their being Bicolanos and Camarinenses at that is a plus factor to me. De Lima is from Iriga City. I believe they can help P-Noy’s administration.

I’d like to see Secretary of Justice De Lima prosecute former COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos who threatened to throw her out from the COMELEC office where she argued as lawyer for opposition senatorial candidate Koko Pimentel. I was surprised with his threat because De Lima was respectful to the Commissioners but Abalos did not want her to speak. I was really turned off with this incident which I saw on TV especially because De Lima is a woman.

We learned from someone close to Robredo that he was not aspiring for the position of DILG Secretary but something else. But if that is what P-Noy wants to give him, he will accept it.

When reporters asked vice-president elect Jojo Binay if he was willing to serve in the Aquino administration, he said “yes”. When asked about his preference, he expressed the position of DILG Secretary because that is his expertise. He said it was an offer to serve and not a claim or imposition on the President.

“In the meeting of P-Noy and VP Jojo Binay last Wednesday at Times St., P-Noy reportedly offered him the Metro Manila Development Authority chairmanship, then the Department of Agrarian Reform, a program that is being phased out and finally a still to be created Commission to probe the corruption of GMA and other officials, positions demeaning to the high position of Vice President, and all of which Vice President-elect Binay politely declined,” Ambassador Ernesto Maceda wrote in the Daily Tribune of June 25, 2010.

He further said that at the time of the meeting, the post of Foreign Affairs Secretary which was given then to Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez and Cory’s teammate Salvador Laurel was still uncommitted. And so were the Department of Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The Department of Agriculture was held twice by President Fernando Lopez. Any of these five regular cabinet positions could have been appropriately offered to Binay but P-Noy in effect insulted Binay and his almost fifteen million (15M) supporters when the position offered were minor posts of Cabinet rank. ” I agree with Maceda’s conclusion that the offers were not appropriate for a Vice-President.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. reminded P-Noy that he is a minority President since he did not get 50 percent plus one or majority of the voters. The more friends supporting him visibly, the better for him.

Binay was elected by almost close to 15M (fifteen million) Filipinos which is about the same number of those who voted for Aquino. His solid mandate deserves respect and acceptance, ” said Ninez Cacho-Olivarez of the Daily Tribune.

Well, as the Vice President of the Republic, Jojo Binay can do many things.He is the no. 2 man in the Executive Department and has administrative and ceremonial functions. I wish to correct a sentence erroneously printed on my last week’s column. It should be: “But what came to my mind during the showing of the supposed legacy was what former Budget Secretary Ben Diokno said when she talked about her legacy in her state of the nation address. Diokno said that “mega projects entail mega kickbacks” not “the mega projects entail mega kickbacks. ” Diokno did not point out any mega project.

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III and Jejomar “Jojo” Binay will take their oath of office on June 30, 2010 as the President and Vice President respectively. I wish them Good Luck and May God guide them for our country’s sake.


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