Duterte team preparing for his ‘transition’ to Malacañang

Pia Ranada
Duterte team preparing for his ‘transition’ to Malacañang

Manman Dejeto

The 'transition team' will be composed of 5 key advisers who will be in charge of recommending Cabinet appointees and planning Duterte's inauguration

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – After a day of rest following a hectic election day, select members of Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign team will meet to choose his Cabinet members and plan his transition to Malacañang.

Campaign manager Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr has been called by Duterte to prepare the “transition team or committee” on Wednesday, May 11.

“I was told by campaign manager Evasco that the mayor mentioned 5 names which I am not at liberty to disclose until the mayor signs the paper appointing the members of the committee,” said Duterte spokesman Peter La Viña on Tuesday, May 10.

“The transition committee will make sure that the [presumptive president] has a staff to help him prepare for the transition. They will be able to help him identify, vet, and recommend members of the cabinet and some of the important appointments immediately before assumption to office on June 30,” he explained.

The same committee will coordinate with Malacañang Palace for the transition and plan the inauguration.

The committee will “start sending invitations, preparing the program for all the logistical requirements for the inaugural event.” 

Duterte, said La Viña, plans to assign personal representatives who will reach out to embassies, churches, civil society groups, judiciary, Congress, military, and police, internatonal organizations, chambers of commerce, and official development agencies.

So will Duterte really hold his inauguration ceremony in the Office of the President and serve only drinks to dignitaries?

Probably more than water, because the mayor said only water. We have plenty of Davao bananas and pomelos which we can bring to Malacañang,” joked La Viña, taking up the suggestion of a journalist to serve fruit salad. 

But speaking more seriously, La Viña said the inauguration will be “frugal.”

“He won’t be spending the people’s money for any lavish Inaugural Day,” he said.

Duterte’s victory as president is assured given his wide lead and the near completion of the transmission of votes. Two of his rivals for the presidency, Senator Grace Poe and administration bet Mar Roxas have conceded as of writing. – Rappler.com

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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 pia.ranada@rappler.com.