Transition team: Duterte Cabinet to be patterned after Trudeau’s

Pia Ranada
Transition team: Duterte Cabinet to be patterned after Trudeau’s
The team says they are creating a short-list of possible appointees, taking inspiration from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's gender-balanced, youthful cabinet

MANILA, Philippines – Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte’s transition committee says they want Duterte’s cabinet to take inspiration from the Cabinet of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We ideally want to follow Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet in Canada wherein sectors are properly represented,” said Peter Laviña during a press briefing on Friday, May 1,3 in Davao City.

Trudeau’s Cabinet has an equal number of men and women (15 each) who are mostly under the age of 50. His Cabinet includes a refugee from Afghanistan. His international trade minister is a woman who was a former journalist.

Duterte has said on the campaign trail that he wants “young and brilliant” people in his Cabinet. Laviña repeated this sentiment, adding that Duterte also wants to appoint people from different ethnic groups and social sectors.

The transition committee has divided itself into 6 clusters to “hasten the process” of selecting Cabinet members, said Laviña. (READ: Transition team bares Duterte’s 8-point economic agenda)

The clusters are headed by members of the transition committee.

  • National campaign head and Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Jun” Evasco for social development
  • Executive assistant and campaign sortie manager Christopher “Bong” Go for peace and security
  • Businessman and campaign finance manager Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez for economic agenda
  • Lawyer Salvador Medialdea for the judiciary
  • Lawyer Loreto Ata for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs)
  • Duterte campaign spokesman Peter Laviña for infrastructure development


Noticeably, the transition team has no women members although Senator Pia Cayetano has been asked to advise the team on women appointees.

Laviña said they have already started compiling a list of nominees.

“We are receiving a list of nominees, suggestions of potential members of the Cabinet, as well as a number of sub-Cabinet positions and head of various agencies,” he told media.

Laviña enumerated the following as their criteria for creating a shortlist of possible appointees: “First, shared vision, meaning they adhere to the program of government of the next administration. Second is integrity. Third is competence or ability, and fourth, willingness to sacrifice.”

In selecting the heads of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police, the basis would be “merits, on seniority, of course on loyalty to the government and the country,” said Laviña.

Outgoing president Benigno Aquino III has initiated the process of transition on his end by creating the Presidential Transition Committee.

The team, led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr, is set to meet at 2 pm on Friday, said Laviña.

Duterte’s and Aquino’s teams are supposed to meet soon to prepare for the June 30 inauguration and government turn-over.

“We’re hoping to travel to Manila very soon so that we can meet our counterparts and get a feel of the necessary steps to take the smooth transition of power in the next administration,” said Laviña.

“We are ready to roll up our sleeves to work together,” he added. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at