THE appointment of Cebuano businessman Michael Lloyd Diño as presidential assistant for Visayas by presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is being questioned by a group of Duterte volunteers.

The group, in a two-page manifesto signed on May 26, asked the incoming president to scrutinize those he will appoint to key positions especially those coming from the business sector in the Visayas.

“We suggest that for nominees who come from the business sector, there must be a written and published disclosure of business interests and dealings with government. But most of all, any nominee must have the respect of his peers and of the other persons in the community,” they said.

The manifesto was signed by 12 individuals, who are Duterte volunteers from Cebu, Iloilo, Guimaras, Siquijor and Bohol.

They are Rex Fernandez, Emmanuel Crucio, Norlando Osano Jr., Neil Papas, Cathy Maluya, Ennoh Chentis Fernandez, Winley De La Fuente, Wendell Cabrera, Luoie Trocio, Jimmy Veliganilao, Seth Tugonon and Christopher Ruiz.

The group said Dino is not qualified to represent the stakeholders in the region as he has no track record to unite, resolve conflicts and work with the key stakeholders and Duterte allies in Cebu.

They said Dino, through their Bisaya Na Pud movement that supported Duterte’s candidacy, had even questioned the alliance of the Duterte Campaign Team and One Cebu leading to the May 9 elections.

The 12 volunteers are members of the Duterte Campaign Team, which they said is the main national campaign group for Duterte’s candidacy.

“Instead of achieving a smoother relationship with the National Government and the local government units, Dino will just sour whatever goodwill that has been established. Dino is a liability, not an asset to the Duterte administration,” they said.

“Even members of the local Chinese community have confidentially questioned the appointment because Dino has no track record of service for the people of the Visayas,” they added.

The group went on to say that the appointment of Dino will have conflict of interest as he is associated with the Ciudad project in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

Dino is the executive vice president of Fifth Avenue Property Development Corp., the partner of the Cebu Provincial Government for the implementation of the multi-billion project.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get a comment from Dino through his spokesperson Jonji Gonzales yesterday, but he said they would prefer not to issue any statement about the matter.

Gonzales said, though, that the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry through their president Melanie Ng already expressed support for the appointment of Dino.

“The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry is looking forward to working with your (Dino) office to further the programs of the new administration,” Ng said.

This debunks the group’s claim that Dino doesn’t have the support from his peers and the community.

Gonzales also said incoming speaker of the house Pantaleon Alvarez also welcomed the appointment of Dino.

“I think the president made a very good choice. He is young, very energetic. He is a good businessman. He has great plans for the Visayas. He is the right person for the job,” Alvarez had said.