Roxas wants clean Cabinet slate if he wins as president

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel Roxas II said he wants a "clean slate" for his Cabinet if he wins the presidency in the May polls.

Roxas, however, declined to name names and provide more details, 5 months since he told Rappler in an October 2015 interview that his Cabinet will likely be composed of a “fresh new set of faces."

"I expect a clean slate. Every president gets a clean slate. I expect a clean slate as we begin in 2016," Roxas told businessmen in a forum hosted by the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Wednesday, March 30.

Asked by MAP president Perry Pe if he had any names in mind, Roxas said it would be "unfair" to divulge them at this point.

"I think it's unfair to those people who will be named because then they will be scrutinized and they'll be perhaps pilloried and demonized," he said.

"First things first, let's win first and then let's discuss the Cabinet," he added, drawing applause from the crowd.

In a chance interview with reporters after the forum, Roxas said he hopes to bring "new perspectives" by appointing fresh faces to his Cabinet.

In a previous interview with Rappler, the administration standard-bearer also said that most of the sitting Cabinet members want to return to the private sector after 6 years in government.

"You know, kahit sa anong bagay, pagkatapos ang lima o anim na taon, medyo pagod ka na rin, ano? Palagay ko maganda na new energies, new dynamism, new perspectives, at 'yan naman dapat para magkaroon ng renewal dito sa ating gawa," he said.

(In anything, after 5 or 6 years, you're a little tired. I think that it's good to have new energies, new dynamism, new perspectives, and that's what's needed to experience a renewal in what we do.)

Roxas' rivals for the presidency have mostly declined to name their prospective appointees to the Cabinet if they win the elections. Pre-election survey frontrunner Senator Grace Poe, however, said she would appoint retired Marine colonel Ariel Querubin as her anti-crime czar if she wins as president.

Vice President Jejomar Binay has said that he would appoint only experienced people to his Cabinet, while Poe – who also faced the businessmen in the first forum two weeks ago – said that there are members of the Aquino Cabinet she wanted to keep, although she also declined to name them. –