Energy Sec Almendras moving to Malacañang?
Aquino allies could be moving closer to the president through new Cabinet appointments

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras will be taking Julia Abad’s position as head of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), according to a article that cites Palace sources. 

It is still unknown if Almendras, who is President Aquino’s former classmate in Ateneo, will accept the post. 

Julia Abad, who is the daughter of the Budget Secretary, was said to be relocating to Washington where her husband is accepting a post according to The Philippine Star

In the same article, sources said President Aquino wants a CEO-type to supervise his office. Alemendras’ experience as the CEO of several large companies and his close friendship with the President were cited as ‘advantages.’

Who will replace Almendras?

The Star said the Department of Energy (DOE) head position would likely be filled by former finance undersecretary Emmanuel Bonoan, who is reportedly a close friend of the current Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

A lawyer by profession, Bonoan worked within the tax division of a private auditing firm and was active in the anti-corruption arm of the finance department.

Bonoan has shown interest in the renewable energy sector, having urged the energy department to pursue more power generated from renewable technology. 

The Star said other potential contenders for the DOE position are Cavite Rep Joseph Emilio Abaya or his younger brother, former DOE undersecretary Peter Abaya, who served during the Arroyo administration.

On a recent visit to the United Kingdom, President Aquino said he would consider opening his Cabinet to senators Francis Pangilinan and Panfilo Lacson, who both cannot seek reelection next year.

Lacson is an ally of the President and Pangilinan is his partymate in the Liberal Party.

The moves would bring Aquino’s allies closer to positions of power and the President. –