MANILA, Philippines - There is no vacancy in the top post in the Department of the Interior and Local Government for Sen. Panfilo Lacson, according to Malacañang.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters yesterday that President Aquino himself had made this clear in a phone call last Monday.
“There was a text (message) from GMA-7 precisely on that question if there was an offer made and the President said the position is not vacant,” Lacierda said. He said the call came after Aquino’s meeting with Lacson.
Lacierda is identified with the Balay faction in the Cabinet, which counts as members Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, a Liberal Party stalwart who is also closely associated with former senator Manuel Roxas II, the designated chief presidential troubleshooter who lost the vice presidential race in May 2010.
“The President has already declared he is happy with his (Robredo’s) performance, but he has not made any comment further than that. So I would have to ask the President,” he said. Robredo is still in an acting capacity.
While he would not be surprised to see Lacson tapped for a Cabinet post after his term in 2013, Lacierda said the President would be clear in his position on the matter.
“President Aquino is a consultative type of person. He consults a number of people he believes who can give him good advice. And it’s not remote for him to ask Sen. Ping Lacson because he was formerly Philippine National Police chief,” Lacierda said.
“So it’s not something that we would be surprised if he (Aquino) asked him because he’s (Lacson) an expert there. But with respect to the details of the discussion between the President and Sen. Lacson, we are not privy to that,” he maintained.
He also lauded Lacson for declaring that while no job offer was made by the President, he would always be willing to grab any opportunity to serve the country.
“And that’s a good response of a civic spirited person – to answer the call of servanthood, to answer the call of government when you’re asked,” he said.
Lacierda also said the President has publicly commended Robredo, particularly for his department’s quick response to the landslide in Compostela Valley that left three people dead and more than a dozen missing.
“Yes, he (President Aquino) stated so publicly (his approval of Robredo) and like for instance what happened in Compostela, he (Robredo) was on top of that along with Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin,” he said. (philstar.com)