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Duterte still satisfied with Cabinet – Palace

Malacañang said yesterday that President Duterte remains satisfied with the composition of his Cabinet despite the dismissal of two officials – Ismael Sueno and Chiara Halmen Valdez as Interior and Local Government Secretary and Cabinet Undersecretary, respectively – due to alleged corruption issues last week.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, said Duterte is satisfied with the overall performance of his Cabinet unless he says otherwise.

On new appointments, Abella said it can be expected that Duterte would have a deeper bench to choose from with the lapse of the appointment ban on losing candidates.

This, however, does not mean that he will be filling up Cabinet positions with new men and women, he said.

“As the President himself said, his Cabinet lineup is filled, except for those positions whose heads are designated as officers-in-charge,” Abella said.

Duterte remained firm about sacking government officials who are involved in corruption. He earlier revealed firing Peter Laviña as chief of the National Irrigation Administration also over corruption allegations.

Duterte also revealed that he sacked 92 employees from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office also due to corruption.

“The first whiff of corruption, maamoy ko lang, kahit hindi totoo, bye-bye tayo,” he repeatedly stressed in his speeches last week.

Sueno and Valdez have denied the allegations but expressed that they will continue supporting the President and accepted and respected his decision. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)