PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is considering Davao City First District Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles as the next Cabinet secretary, Malacañang said on Tuesday, October 30.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Nograles is one of the "leading" candidates for the post vacated by Leoncio Evasco Jr., who resigned after he filed his candidacy for Bohol governor in the 2019 midterm elections.
"He (Nograles) is one of those being considered," Panelo said in a press conference Tuesday.
"I have heard that he (Nograles) is one of those leading (the list). Let's just wait for the President to announce. It's the President's call," he added.
Nograles, a member of Duterte's ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), is serving his third and last term as congressman.
Nograles initially planned to run for senator in next year's elections, but dropped his plan saying that he would be able to "better serve the administration of President Duterte by supporting the candidacies of fellow Mindanaoans who share my desire to bring development to the regions."
Meanwhile, Panelo could not confirm reports that Duterte would appoint Senator Gregorio Honasan II as the next Information and Communications Technology chief.
He instead appealed to wait for the President's announcement on the replacements of Cabinet officials who resigned to seek elective posts.
"The announcement will be made by the President himself as to the other members of Cabinet who will replaced those who filed their certificates of candidacy," he said.
The five Cabinet officials eyeing local and national posts include former special assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, former presidential dpokesperson Harry Roque Jr., former Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., former Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, and former Presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino.
Other presidential appointees who will also run for the 2019 polls are Bureau of Corrections director-general Ronald dela Rosa, Agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel Laviña, Social Welfare undersecretary Francisco Moreno Domagoso, and Transportation undersecretary Thomas Orbos.
So far, Duterte appointed Panelo and Teodoro Locsin Jr. as replacements of Roque and Cayetano, respectively.
Duterte also named his security aide, Police Senior Inspector Sofia Loren Deliu, as Go's "replacement" although she will not hold a Cabinet rank. (SunStar Philippines)