Aquino swears in new Cabinet secretary, Energy chief

MANILA (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III administered on Sunday the oath of office to Jose Rene Almendras as the new Secretary to the Cabinet and Carlos Jericho Petilla as Almendras’ replacement in the Department of Energy.

The oath-taking was held during the send-off ceremony of President Aquino for the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem9) at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II in Pasay City.

Aside from several members of the Cabinet, the ceremony was witnessed by the two officials’ wives and children.

MANILA. President Benigno Aquino III administers the oath of office to Jose Rene Almendras (center) as the new secretary to the Cabinet and Carlos Jericho Petilla (right photo) as the new Energy secretary during the send-off ceremony at the NAIA Terminal 1 departure area. (Malacañang Photo Bureau)

“It's a whole structure on how somebody below the secretary level is actually working together with the others to create a more dynamic process. So my position is not a line position. Mine is a staff position,” he said.

“You will not even see me. We are a staff function. We completely disappear into the bureaucracy,” he added.

Ready

Petilla, meanwhile, said he is ready to assume his post as Energy secretary.

“They said if you want to be briefed in energy, it will take you about two months. But we’ll do it in one week,” he said.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Almendras’ sister, said they will not use her brother’s position for politics.

rProfessional

“Never. My brother (and I), we are very professional. In fact, my brother is not after any position,” Magpale said.

Magpale said her brother would have wanted to go back to the private sector but allowed his willingness to serve to prevail while Aquino is still president.

Magpale said Aquino and her brother are very good friends.

Magpale will run for vice governor under the Liberal Party headed by Aquino. She will face Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV from the One Cebu party.

The LP’s gubernatorial candidate, Hilario Davide III, will run against Representative Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) under One Cebu. (Jill Beltran/FMG of Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex)

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