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Palace To Naysayers: Respect Duterte's Celebrity Appointees

They call it 'presidential prerogative'
by Andrei Medina | Jul 18, 2016
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The Malacañang Palace came to the rescue of President Rodrigo Duterte amid public criticism regarding his rumored selection of various celebrities and personalities to take on top government posts in his administration.

In a statement over the weekend, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar called on the public to have faith in whoever the President wishes to appoint, the Inquirer reported.

"If the President wishes to appoint anyone that he deems credible, then we leave the wisdom behind those (appointments) to the President. I am sure many of us Filipinos understand what we call presidential prerogative," he said.

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Included in Duterte's list of possible celebrity appointees are host-comedian Arnel Ignacio and singer Jimmy Bondoc. Both were reportedly appointed to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Meanwhile, television host Kat de Castro, the daughter of former Vice President Noli de Castro, was named an undersecretary in the Department of Tourism.

But what got the most criticism was folk singer Freddie Aguilar's supposed appointment as National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chairman.


It drew so much flak that current NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon had to respond by citing the Constitution.

"The position of NCCA chairman is not appointive, according to Republic Act 7356. The chairman is elected by the Board of Commissioners," he told BusinessWorld.

Apparently, the position of NCCA chairman requires aspirants to undergo four levels of elections to be qualified as a candidate which invalidates the President's selection of Aguilar.


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