Liza Diño, Aiza Seguerra share thoughts, plans on gov't posts
MANILA, Philippines – Among the latest celebrity appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte are actress Liza Diño and her husband, Aiza Seguerra. Aiza and Liza, who both supported Duterte's presidential bid, recently talked to Rappler's Maria Ressa about their plans for their new positions and shared their thoughts on the new administration.
During the Wednesday, August 24 interview, Liza, the new Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Aiza, National Youth Commission (NYC) chair, also spoke about criticism they've been receiving, and about the struggles they faced over time throughout their relationship, which is very much in the public eye. ([WATCH] Rappler Talk: Aiza Seguerra, Liza Dino on identity and politics)
Aiza and Liza, who aren't the first showbiz personalities to be appointed to government positions, addressed criticism that they had been rewarded for campaigning for Duterte.
"Well, ganito lang 'yun (Well, here's the thing)," Aiza answered when asked about the issue. "Kung alam mo kung ano ang totoo (If you know the truth), you're not gonna be bothered by it."
He explained that they truly believed in Duterte's plans, which is why they campaigned for him early in the year, attending rallies and voicing out their support on social media.
Aiza also shared that Liza's father, former Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chairman Martin Diño, asked them after the elections if they had positions in the government.
"Anong akala 'nyo sa amin (What do you take us for)? And that was me and my dad talking," said Liza.
"We didn't campaign just for [positions in the government], e di kayo na lang. Kami, happy kami he's there, we're happy. We're good, we know we're safe."
(We didn't campaign for [positions in the government], why don't you do it instead? In our case, we're happy he's there, we're happy. We're good, we know we're safe.)
The couple changed their minds when Martin told them that the government was different now. Aiza recalled Martin as telling them, "Kung gusto niyo ng pagbabago, at kung sa tingin ninyo ay makakagawa kayo ng pagbabago, why not step up?"
Aiza said that their new jobs won't make them rich, but it's the prospect of being able make a change that inspires the,. "Kaysa 'yung post lang ako nang post sa Facebook na 'ito ang dapat ginagawa 'nyo, dapat ganito ang ginagawa 'nyo.' Now, may opportunity ako to do something."
(Instead of constantly posting on Facebook that 'this is what you should have done, this is what you should have done.' Now, I have an opportunity to do something.)
Aside from Aiza and Liza, singer Jimmy Bondoc and comedian Arnell Ignacio, have been appointed as assistant vice presidents at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Freddie Aguilar said that Duterte had tapped him to head the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, but the position is elected by the board, not appointed.
Plans for the future
Liza and Aiza also spoke about what they plan to do with their new appointments.
Liza, as FDCP chair, wants to focus on unifying the different sectors of the film industry – mainstream and independent filmmakers, theater owners, producers, and the audiences.
"Progress, for me, is if the filmmakers now who are producing and bold enough to do their own films, can find a way to not just recoup their investment but prosper and make more films," said Liza on her goals. "For the audience to be developed into watching and to have a choice to watch an array of different themes when it comes to the films that they watch."
She added that she wants to expand the FDCP's programs to outside Metro Manila, and to develop audiences through year-round workshops and seminars on filmmaking.
For his part, Aiza said he wants a less apathetic youth, one with a greater love for country.
"Matatalino ang mga kabataan natin ngayon pero minsan kulang na din sa EQ (The youth is smart, but they lack EQ sometimes, too). Siguro ako talaga (I guess I really) wanna put programs that will inculcate nationalism that at the same time will bring back the culture. Ipasok natin ang arts (Let's bring in the arts)," he said.
Aiza is also pushing to prepare each region for federalism, one of Duterte's plans for the country.
It isn't enough that the NYC makes policies and programs and depends on local government units (LGU) and other agencies to put them into practice, said Aiza. The NYC has to be able to implement policies on its own.
"Gusto ko kaya naming mag-implement. Kasi kung inaasahan namin ang LGUs, aasahan namin ang ahensiya, siyempre sila mismo ang dami na nilang iniisip eh (I want us to be able to implement these policies. Because if we depend on the LGUs, if we depend on the agencies, of course they're thinking of so many other things)," Aiza said.
"So if we can implement then these programs for the youth, why not do it?" – Rappler.com