Palace explains Almendras 'lateral' transfer-A A +A
Friday, October 26, 2012
MALACANANG said Friday that the appointment of Rene Almendras as Secretary to the Cabinet was "lateral" and not because he was ineffective in his post in the Department of Energy (DOE).
While in Australia, President Benigno Aquino III announced the appointment of Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla as new Energy Secretary.
News about Petilla's appointment to the DOE came out a week prior to Aquino's announcement on Thursday.
"The movement, by the way, how we describe it, it is a lateral movement. It's not because the President is not pleased with Secretary Almendras, in fact, he is going to work closer with the President on a day to day basis," the Palace official said.
As a Secretary of the Cabinet, Almendras is tasked to update the President of the developments in all Cabinet posts.
The position was previously held by Ricardo Saludo during the term of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and by Jose de Jesus during the term of Aquino's late mother former President Corazon Aquino.
Lacierda said there is still no schedule yet for the oath-taking of Petilla but Malacanang expects it to be held before the President leaves for Laos on November 5 for the 10th Asia Europe Meeting.
The President was expected to arrive from Australia Friday afternoon.
"Governor Petilla and the President will talk any time after he arrives from Australia. Governor Petilla is leaving for the United Kingdom to attend a seminar. Maybe by next week, hopefully, before the President leaves for Asem, they will talk and perhaps take his oath," he said.
Lacierda said Aquino was impressed with Petilla's manner of governance in Leyte and his management expertise.
"I think, a year or two ago, during the time of this administration, Leyte was badly hit by a storm. And the President said the data that was provided by Governor Petilla were all very realistic… He was impressed by the report submitted by Governor Petilla," he said.
He also noted that Petilla has vast experience working in the private sector and had managed some business process outsourcing.
"So he has management expertise and at the same time, he ran the province of Leyte in a very professional manner," Lacierda said.
"He is also not an insider, meaning, he did not serve any company involved in energy and therefore, he was not subject to regulatory capture. We need somebody who can really stand up to the energy company and you need someone also good in finance to do it," he added.
Aquino said no one lobbied for Petilla and he is a personal choice of the President.
Asked if this will be the last movement in the Cabinet of Aquino, Lacierda answered: "For now, the President said this will be the last reshuffling." (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)