MANILA, Philippines – Members of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s transition team on Thursday, June 16, paid a visit to Malacañang, where President Benigno Aquino III gave them a tour.
In a message to reporters, Palace Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr said Executive Secretary-designate Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Management Staff head-designate Christopher Go, and Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr led the members of the Duterte transition team who came to the Palace.
The 3 men are expected to assume key roles in the Duterte presidency.
Medialdea’s father, former Associate Justice Leo D. Medialdea, had worked with Duterte’s father when the latter was provincial governor of Davao.
Go, Duterte’s executive assistant and aide, is known to be the Davao City mayor’s most trusted man. He is also often referred to these days as the gateway to the incoming president.
Evasco, on the other hand, had played a key role in the Duterte campaign. Mayor of Maribojoc in Bohol province, Evasco was a member of the New People’s Army and was detained for 3 years after his arrest in the early 1980s. Detained as a political prisoner then, he met Duterte, then a government prosecutor, with whom he has maintained a close friendship.
Duterte’s men were met and briefed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr, who also introduced them to Aquino.
The President gamely offered to tour them around the Palace grounds.
Coloma said Aquino “invited them to a tour of the main Palace building.”
Duterte has said he does not intend to live in the Palace but will divide his working time between Manila and Davao.
The Palace spokesman said no other details of the meeting were available. – Rappler.com
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