MANILA -- A close aide of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III took over a sensitive post in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday.

In simple rites at the department’s main office in Quezon City, outgoing Undersecretary for Peace and Order Marius Corpus turned over his post to Rico Escalona Puno.

As undersecretary for peace and order, he will supervise the operations of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Puno served as Aquino’s consultant when he was Tarlac congressman from 1998-2007.

In Aquino’s brief Senate term from June 30, 2007 to June 30 this year, Puno also served as officer for public order and safety, economic affairs and in local governance, as well as liaison officer for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Aquino is the concurrent Interior and Local Government Secretary after he failed to choose among the contenders for the post including former Naga City Mayor and Ramon Magsaysay recipient Jesse Robredo.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was also interested of the DILG post but later said he won’t take any Cabinet post.

President Aquino said in a press conference last June 29 that he will name the new DILG chief anytime this week. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)