Philippines: Malacanang dismisses rumors of Cabinet revamp

Jun. 06, 2007

MANILA — Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita dismissed today as the product of “curious minds” rumors of an impending revamp of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos Cabinet following the May 14 mid-term elections.

In his weekly press briefing in Malaca?ang this afternoon, Ermita surmised that speculations on possible changes in the Cabinet were being floated by people curious to know who would be appointed to replace Cabinet members who ran in last months polls.

Ermita said the President had not discussed with executive officials, including himself, about a possible Cabinet revamp.

“Ang theory ko diyan, sincerely, I think the expectation of media is because there are a few (Cabinet officials) who ran for public office, whether they won or they lost, therefore there is vacancy, therefore, you are curious kung sino ang papalit,” Ermita added.

He pointed out it was apparent that the vacancy at the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) and the Presidential Chief of Staff left by the resignations of Roberto Pagdanganan and Joey Salceda, respectively, who ran for public office last month, set the Cabinet revamp rumor mill on overdrive.

“But other than that, the fact is the President has not really discussed with anybody, not even instructed me about anybody who might be replaced. So, wala,” Ermita said.

He also called on everyone, especially the rumor mongers, to stop spreading half-truths and instead focus on the positive achievements of the government for the sake of the country.

“I wish that all responsible citizens, especially those whose statements may carry weight, that they consider giving some respite to our political situation. The election is over and we are just waiting for a few days to be able to know who the winners are as far as the national elections are concerned. I wish we can move forward and talk about something positive about our economic condition,” Ermita said.

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