Duterte gives Wilfredo Keng's daughter a government post

MANILA, Philippines – Patricia Keng, daughter of the businessman who filed a cyber libel case against Rappler for a 2012 investigative story, has scored a presidential appointment.

A list of new government officials sent by Malacañang to reporters on September 19, showed Keng was named a member of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), representing the youth sector. The PCW is an agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Keng’s appointment was signed on September 16.

Document from Malacau00f1ang

 

In an email to Rappler on Tuesday, October 8, PCW confirmed that the "Patricia Anne C. Keng" named PCW member is the same Patricia Keng who ran as a nominee of the Wow Pilipinas party list in the May 2019 elections. This Patricia Keng is the daughter of Wilfredo Keng, as he said in a September 18 affidavit.

Why does this matter? Previously, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed to not know Wilfredo, the businessman who filed a cyber libel case against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and a former Rappler researcher in 2017. (READ: FAST FACTS: Who is Wilfredo Keng?)

Wilfredo is CEO and president of mining company Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp (CPM). It was he who filed the cyber libel case that led to Ressa's arrest in February 2019.

He accused Rappler of cyber libel for a 2012 story linking him to luxury vehicles used by the former chief justice Renato Corona. (WATCH: Rappler's cyber libel case in a nutshell)

Keng is demanding P50 million in damages for the article, which he claimed also contributed to Patricia's loss in the 2019 elections.

Patricia had run as first nominee of party list Wow Pilipinas in the 2019 national elections. The party list failed to win a seat. According to a Philippine Star article in June 2019, Keng also worked for her father's company, Century Peak Corporation, as executive vice president for operations.

Patricia is now Wilfredo's second link to Duterte. Wilfredo was also a contact person in the construction of the Nueva Ecija "mega" drug rehabilitation facility built by Chinese tycoon Huang Rulun and inaugurated by Duterte. 

Documents also show Wilfredo is fellow incorporator in a company with Huang's two children.

What is Patricia's role in PCW? Patricia will be serving as youth sector representative in the PCW, according to the list of presidential appointments.

Patricia has "long been involved in NGO work promoting advocacies for women," said her father's lawyer Joseph Banguis in a text to Rappler on September 19.

Though a government appointee, Patricia Keng will not be receiving any salary since hers is an ex-officio position, said the PCW.

"They do not hold full-time positions, and only report to the agency during Board Meetings. Being ex-officio, they receive no salaries from the PCW," said the commission. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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