Martin Diño appointed DILG undersecretary

Pia Ranada

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Martin Diño appointed DILG undersecretary
Former SBMA chairman Martin Diño is the latest official to join the Department of the Interior and Local Government

MANILA, Philippines – Three months after he said he had been offered the post, former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Martin Diño was finally officially appointed as interior undersecretary, Malacañang announced on Tuesday, January 9.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Diño’s appointment papers on Monday, January 8.

In September 2017, Diño said Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told him of Duterte’s plan to appoint him to the Department of the Interior and Local Government as “Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs.”

At the time, however, then Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella denied the appointment.

Duterte appointed Diño to the DILG after he designated its former officer-in-charge, Catalino Cuy, as Dangerous Drugs Board chairman; and Undersecretary Eduardo Año as the new OIC.

The President plans to name Año as DILG chief after one-year ban on appointing military chiefs to secretary-level positions, or after October 26, 2018.

Diño faced controversy in his previous post in the SBMA where he locked horns with other officials. Diño later filed a complaint before the office of the Ombudsman against 13 SBMA officials for alleged malversation, grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and grave abuse of authority over unaccounted assets. 

Diño clashed with SBMA administrator Wilma Eisma, a supposed protege of Senator Richard Gordon. Eisma had accused Diño of encroaching on her functions.

Duterte appointed Eisma as chairman and administrator in September, after he issued an executive order fusing the two functions.

Diño’s last-minute filing of candidacy for president during the 2016 elections had allowed Duterte to substitute him and thus join the presidential race. –

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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