President Benigno S. Aquino III announced Friday the appointment of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas as the new head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government following the death of Secretary Jesse Robredo two weeks ago.
In a televised message, the President said he picked Roxas to head the DILG because he is confident that Roxas can continue the reforms spearheaded by Robredo.
President Aquino said he had a lot of instructions to Robredo and the former DILG chief has handled sensitive and confidential matters and a competent successor must fill the post.
A replacement must have the ability to respond to the calls of the local governments and the national police leadership to make sure that the said agencies could move towards the right direction, the President added.
“Tama lang naman po na ang pinuno ng isa sa mga pinakamatandang partidong pulitikal sa bansa ang makikipag-usap sa mga pulitiko. Sino pa nga ba ang sasalamin sa lahat ng katangiang ito kundi ang Pangulo ng aming partido na si Kalihim Mar Roxas. Itinatalaga natin siya ngayon bilang bagong kalihim ng Interior and Local Government,” he said.
The President has also given Roxas the freedom to bring in members of his team to the DILG and its attached agencies to ensure better public service.
Because Roxas is vacating the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the Chief Executive also announced the appointment of Rep. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya to replace him at the DOTC.
Abaya’s academic background as well as his experience in local politics qualified him to handle the DOTC post, the President said.
Abaya is a graduate of Philippine Science High School, became a Philippine Military Academy entrance exam top notcher. He studied at the US Naval Academy; got a master’s degree in engineering at Cornell University and had also taken law at the Ateneo Law School.
Putting a wrong person at the DOTC may compromise government plans and projects there, the President continued, adding that huge and technical projects must be handled by somebody he trusts.
“Kumpiyansa tayong maipagpapatuloy ni Jun ang mga proyekto sa DOTC. Hindi malilihis ng landas ang ahensya, at magsisilbi pa siyang mabuting ehemplo para sa lahat ng kawani nito,” the President said.
At the same time, the President asked the Commission on Appointments in Congress to immediately confirm Roxas and Abaya so that the two could quickly assume their posts.
“Sa pagtatalaga natin kina Mar at Jun, kumpiyansa tayong higit pang mapapabilis ang pag-usad natin sa tuwid na daan. Nananalig tayo sa suporta ng taumbayan upang matiyak na malampasan natin ang mga hamon na atin pang haharapin, at siguruhing hindi na kailanman aatras sa baku-bakong kalakaran ang ating bansa,” he said.