DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The members of Rodrigo Duterte's Transition Committee were finalized on Wednesday, May 11, following a call from President Benigno Aquino III to Duterte's staff to get started on the transition between administrations.
Duterte spokesman Peter Laviña posted the names of the committee members on his Facebook page. They include himself, Duterte's executive assistant Christopher "Bong" Go, campaign manager and Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio "Jun" Evasco, former agriculture secretary Carlos "Sonny" Dominguez, and lawyers Salvador "Bingbong" Medialdea and Loreto Ata.
Dominguez, a childhood friend of Duterte's, also served as his campaign's finance head.
The committee held their first meeting on Wednesday at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
The meeting happened a day after Go received a call from Aquino informing him that he intends to issue an administrative order to facilitate a smooth transition, designating Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr as the head of his transition team.
Aquino's and Duterte's teams are supposed to coordinate with each other as Duterte's proclamation date, June 30, draws near.
During the 3-hour meeting, Laviña said the transition committee started discussing who will be joining the group’s 4 subcommittees.
These include a selection subcommittee that will be in charge of vetting appointees for Duterte’s Cabinet – one for policy reviews, another to oversee preparations for Duterte’s inauguration, and a fourth subcommittee consisting of representatives from several sectors that they plan to reach.
“We’re working on the names but ‘di pa po (but it’s not yet) for public release. We have to present these names to the mayor for approval,” said Laviña past 6 pm on Wednesday.
Go added that their first meeting focused on laying the ground work for every committee’s agenda.
“[We discussed] different possibilities, different scenarios, ganito, ganyan (like this and like that). How will we start the administration? Importante is day one, prepared na lahat, ‘no? (What’s important is that on day one, everything’s ready, right?) Ready to run the government na. In place na. After the inaugural, back to work and then umpisa na (and then we begin),” he said.
The transition committee resumes their meeting lunch time on Thursday, May 12.
Meanwhile, Go said the committee also talked about initial plans for Duterte’s inauguration on June 30.
“Siyempre susundan namin kung ano 'yung gusto ni Mayor (Of course we'll follow what the mayor wants). A simple one. No fanfare. Syempre invited 'yung mga dignitaries (Of course, the dignitaries will be invited),” he said.
Go explained they are also looking at possible venues where to hold the event.
He said Duterte does not want his inauguration to cause traffic congestion.
Laviña also said the "hardest" part in the planning process, so far, is identifying whom to invite.
"But the program is very simple. In fact the Mayor has mentioned, 'Let’s have lunch everyone, then we’ll just offer soda, biscuit and tubig (water).” – with a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com