Marcos Jr.’s choices of Cabinet members draw jeers, cheers from AB profs


Photo from President Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s Facebook page

A NUMBER of Artlet professors have criticized some of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s choices for the Cabinet, saying they do not have enough credentials to lead their respective agencies.

Asst. Prof. Dennis Coronacion, chairman of the political science department, said Vice President and education secretary Sara Duterte lacks professional experience to lead her agency.

“[She] should not have been appointed as DepEd (Department of Education) chief for lack of an education-related degree and lack of education management experience,” he told The Flame.

Since Duterte is a lawyer and former local chief executive, she should have been appointed interior or justice secretary, Coronacion said.

Journalism program coordinator Felipe Salvosa II scored the appointment of lawyer and vlogger

Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles as press secretary, the official that serves as the bridge between the president and the media. Salvosa said her being a vlogger does not make her knowledgeable of the “inner workings of the press.”

“It seems to me she (Cruz-Angeles) would be working more on the public relations side of the job, rather than the public information side of the job which I think should be given more emphasis,” Salvosa said.

Salvosa believes appointing a practitioner to the post is necessary given the responsibilities it carries.

“[Journalism] has fact-checkers, gatekeepers, editors, mechanisms to make the system accountable and this is something that can’t be said of vloggers or purveyors of disinformation,” he said.

“These are the minimum expectations of public officials… It is the policy of the State to promote a high standard of ethics in public service.”

Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Batoon, also from the political science department, believes Marcos Jr. prefers to support relatives who have been loyal to him. He cited the President’s support for the bid of his cousin, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romuladez, to become the next Speaker of the chamber.

Coronacion expressed hope that Marcos would include other objective criteria in choosing his cabinet officials apart from loyalty and political allegiance.


Economic managers backed

While critics have reservations on some of Marcos’ choices for the cabinet, AB professors believe some of his appointees are capable of doing their jobs.

Economics department chair Assoc. Prof. Carlos Manapat described some of the cabinet members as “well-picked” since they also handled key posts during the time of the late president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Manapat lauded Marcos Jr. for appointing National Economic and Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual. He also commended Marcos for naming former socioeconomic planning secretary Felipe Medalla as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, a post that is independent from the executive branch.

Coronacion is also convinced that Marcos Jr.’s economic managers are “competent” and “capable enough” to pull the Philippines out of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. F – A. S. Lim

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