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Cayetano, Dureza lead Cabinet hopefuls

As presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte awaits for his formal installation as the 16th president of the country, the appointment of a Cabinet and officials of key government posts will prove to be tough for the Davao City mayor and the selection and transition team he will form.

There will be at least five groups whose leaders will vie for posts that will be open for the new government that will rule for the next six years.

Among them are the group of vice presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the Friends of Duterte (FORD) composed of the victorious bet’s classmates and Lex Talliones fraternity brothers, the Volunteers for Rodrigo Roa Duterte for President Movement, the PDP-Laban party and Duterte’s most trusted, the Davao City boys.

PDP-Laban secretary general Pantaleon Alvarez, who is leading the congressional race for the First District of Davao del Norte, and incumbent Rep. Karlo Nograles, a nephew of Duterte, have their eyes on the speakership of the House of Representatives.

So far Duterte has been candid about appointing Cayetano as secretary of foreign affairs, a designation usually given to the incumbent vice president.

Close Davao City friend former Arroyo peace adviser Jesus Dureza will also land a juicy post, possibly as executive secretary which he held in the past.

National campaign manager Mayor Leoncio Evasco may be allowed to choose between becoming the next chief of the Department of Interior and Local Government or the Palace’s resident political adviser.

Duterte headquarters insiders said the Department of Justice will be a toss up between fraternity brothers Vitaliano Aguirre and Fred Lim, who reportedly had Duterte’s ears when he made the decision to seek the presidency.

The first president to hail from Min-danao is also predicted to name former AFP chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as the next defense chief.

The name of 2010 presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro has been floated for the same position although this will seem to be an unlikely event since the Arroyo’s defense secretary has refused to come out from a self-imposed political retirement.

Also a shoo in for a Cabinet position is former agriculture secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez. He is being considered as the next secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications or Department of Finance.

The Duterte camp said spokesman Peter Lavina will man the fort in Davao City, where the next chief executive is expected to put up an extension of the Office of the President.

The Palace mouthpiece will be offered to PDP-Laban spokesperson Paola Alvarez and lawyer Sal Panelo.

The name of Jopet Sison and Metro Manila leader of VRRDPM has also surfaced as a possible contender for housing czar.

Among the Duterte-endorsed losing senatorial candidates, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan, Greco Belgica and Dionisio Santiago could expect government appointment after the one-year prohibition has lapsed. (BEN ROSARIO)