DIPOLOG CITY, Philippines – Cabinet Secretary Leoncio "Jun" Evasco Jr said the creation of two new offices under his supervision is not part of a plan to form a new political party.
"That's far from the truth," Evasco said in response to concerns that the Office of Participatory Governance (OPG) and the Strategic Action and Response (STAR) Office would lay the foundations of a political party of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Malacañang announced on Tuesday thatDuterte signed Executive Order No. 9, creating the two offices, to further strengthen the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS).
Evasco told Rappler in a phone interview on Tuesday, December 6, that "existing political parties are threatened [by] Executive Order 9, because they fear we are building a political party" but there is no basis for such concerns. (READ: New 'party' Kilusang Pagbabago formed to protect Duterte)
He explained that OPG and STAR Office are just part of a "social movement to provide assistance to many poor Filipinos who have been denied of government help for many years back."
"Mao ni saad ni Presidente, ang tabangan ang kabos natong mga igsuon nga dugay na intawon nga gihikawan sa tabang sa gobyerno (This is the promise of the President, to help our poor brothers and sisters who have long been denied of government help)," Evasco added.
He noted that Duterte's political machinery in the last elections was fueled by millions of supporters from the time the Davao City mayor declared he was joining the presidential race.
Ed Sumalpong, Duterte's coordinator for Zamboanga del Norte, expressed confidence that the "social movement" will gain ground even without Palace funding, just like what happened during the campaign period leading to the May elections.
"It's from bottom-up, and from top-to-bottom kind of coordination," he added. – Rappler.com