by Willy Ramasola
Three recent appointees of President-elect Rody Duterte with potential conflicts of interest, as follows:
1. Dr. Peter Laurel for DepEd
He is the President of the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Batangas. It will be unavoidable for people especially by those from other educational institutions to mention about the possibility of Laurel using his position to give preferential treatment to his own schools.
We know current Education Secretary Armin Luistro came from Lasalle but I believe their cases are different because Lyceum is Laurel family business while Bro. Luistro was only a professional manager/administrator.
2. Atty. Salvador Panelo as Press Secretary
Atty. Panelo is a former lawyer of the Ampatuans who were accused of the mass murders of journalists in Maguindanao more than 6 years ago. His involvement in the present government might have some effect in whatever way to the outcome of the ongoing cases.
Keeping Peter La Viña as spokesman would be a better option in my opinion. I understand this incoming administration is bent on killing drug lords and suspected criminals. Pero kailangan bang pati ang spokesman ay mukhang killer din?
3. Mark Villar as DPWH Head
Villar is the son of billionaire businessman Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar, whose family businesses include chain of convenience stores, malls, payTV and cable broadband companies, condominium development, residential subdivision development, townships, and water service distribution and utility companies.
Not only will he be accused on paving new roads and building bridges leading to their family owned real estate developments, but the government owned LWUA (local water utility administration) might be used by Villar to also benefit their family owned water distribution business.
There is indeed great conflict of interest in the appointment of Villar much worse than the appointment of Bert Lina to Customs.
Let me clarify that these appointments are not wrong per se, but there is potential conflict of interest and delicadeza issues surrounding these appointments.
I do hope the new administration will think harder and evaluate further its candidates for these top government posts so we can say that the people working for our president are there to help him bring about real change in our country. Thank you.
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