Duterte Cabinet members bond over monggo, fried fish
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The first Cabinet meeting?
Prospective Cabinet appointees of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said they had an informal gathering on Wednesday night, May 25, in Metro Manila. (READ: LIST: Who's who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)
Photos of the get-together posted by Roldan Gorgonio on Facebook showed key members of Duterte's incoming Cabinet gathered around a conference table.
The meeting was held at the World Corporate Center on Shaw Boulevard.
Gorgonio said that those in attendance were:
- Vitaliano Aguirre II - Prospective Justice Secretary
- Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr - Prospective Cabinet Secretary
- Salvador Meldialdea - Prospective Executive Secretary
- Ronald M. Dela Rosa - Prospective Philippine National Police chief
- Art Tugade - Prospective Transportation Secretary
- Hermogenes Esperon Jr - Prospective National Security Adviser
- Sonny Dominguez - Prospective Finance Secretary
- Manny Piñol - Prospective Agriculture Secretary
- Andrea Domingo - Prospective PAGCOR chief
- Ernesto Pernia - Prospective National Economic and Development Authority chief
- Alfonso Cusi - Prospective Energy Secretary
- Jose Calida - Prospective Solicitor General
- Perfecto Yasay Jr - Prospective Foreign Secretary
- Salvador Panelo - Temporary spokesman
- Bebot Bello - Prospective Labor Secretary
- Mark Villar - Prospective Public Works Secretary
- Ricardo Visaya - Prospective Armed Forces of the Philippines chief
Also in the photos are real estate tycoon Manny Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party and father of Mark Villar.
The elder Villar, in fact, owns the building where the meeting was held.
Piñol described the gathering as a "getting-to-know-you meeting."
"Nothing substantial. We exchanged phone numbers for connectivity and had our self-service lunch of monggo and fried fish," he told Rappler.
Asked about his impression of his fellow incoming Cabinet members, some of whom he met formally for the first time, Piñol said: "Everybody seems eager to work. We're all aware of the very high expectations of the people."
Esperon described the meeting the same way, saying they had a very simple dinner. Asked about his impression of the other Cabinet members, he said, "Most have their wits intact."
Duterte was in Davao City at the time of the meeting.
The past few days, he had been releasing names of people he wanted in his Cabinet.
There have been mixed reactions to his appointments. Some have raised their eyebrows at possible conflicts of interest in the appointments of Villar and Panelo. Others have chosen to give Duterte and his appointees the benefit of the doubt. – Rappler.com