No impending Cabinet revamp: Palace

MANILA MalacaAang said Wednesday it was unaware of any impending revamp in the Cabinet, following reports that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is unsatisfied with the performance of some of its members.

We are not aware of any impending Cabinet revamp, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a Palace briefing.

Reports have claimed that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello have already submitted their resignation letters, while another report said Duterte is likely to fire Aguirre over the dismissal of drug trafficking charges against businessman Peter Lim and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

Guevarra, however, dispelled these rumors.

The Office of the President has not received any letter of resignation from either Secretary Bello or from Secretary Aguirre. And the President has just returned from his Holy Week visit to his hometown, and he has not given any statement regarding this matter, he said.

In fact, Guevarra said that both Aguirre and Bello have been invited to attend the Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

He noted that Duterte is generally satisfied with Aguirre's performance as justice secretary except for the dismissal of drug charges against Lim, Espinosa and apprentices.

He (Duterte) has been generally satisfied with the performance of the Secretary of Justice. But well, except for certain debacles that happened to the DOJ recently. The President did not hide his displeasure about certain developments pertaining to the war on drugs, more specifically the dismissal of charges against certain high-profile suspects, Guevarra said.

Last March 13, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, via Twitter, quoted Duterte as saying that if Lim and Espinosa get away with their crimes, Aguirre would replace them in jail.

Guevarra said that he was not in a position to say which secretaries he was unsatisfied with, noting that it would be the President himself to make the announcement.

I'm not in a position to say whom he was referring to. If any action along this line will have to be taken by the President, I guess he himself will make that announcement, Guevarra said.

Source: Philippine News Agency