ABS-CBN News : Marcos to appoint relatives if qualified, within the law: spox

By Gillan Ropero | ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is not against appointing a relative to his Cabinet as long as they are qualified, his spokesman said Thursday.

The former senator will respect "prohibitions provided for in the Constitution" and in the Civil Service Law, according to lawyer Vic Rodriguez.

"Kung qualified naman at wala naman prohibition sa ilalim ng ating batas, hindi naman siguro tama na qualified at magaling ang tao, magaling magserbisyo, dahil lang kamag-anak mo na malayo eh disqualified na," he told ANC's Headstart.

(If they are qualified and there's no prohibition under the law, it isn't right to disqualify a person who is good in service just because they're a distant relative.)

"For as long as he will not be violating any law, for as long as the person, a distant relative, or a relative is competent, I don't see any reasons why he or she is not given a position. Kawawa naman yung serbisyong makukuha sana natin kung magaling naman talaga."

(We would miss out on the service they can provide if they're really good at their job.)

Marcos, who received 31 million votes on Monday, has formed a transition team. He will "consider" retaining incumbent Cabinet members, Rodriguez said.

"If they can still render service in some other capacity absolutely he will consider," he said.

Marcos will continue Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" and include digital infrastructure in its blueprint, his spokesman said.

"He will have his own government, his own governance, and he is his own man. President-elect Bongbong will continue lahat ng magagandang program ni (all good programs of) President (Rodrigo) Duterte, specifically the 'Build, Build, Build,'" he said.

Rodriguez also admitted that there will be "political appointees" in Marcos' Cabinet.

"Sinabi naman niya na may political appointees talaga dyan," he said.

(He has said that there will be political appointees.)

Sara Duterte qualified to lead DepEd

Leading vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio, meantime, is qualified to lead the Department of Education as she is a lawyer, Rodriguez said.

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition said it would have preferred if the next education secretary had a public education background. But it added that it was open to working with Duterte-Carpio.

"Is she qualified? Definitely. She’s a lawyer. She has the confidence of the 31 million Filipinos who voted her into office. She enjoys the trust and confidence of President-elect Bongbong. Let’s give her a chance so that she can run ably the Department of Education," Rodriguez said.

"He (Marcos) believes that Vice President-elect Sara Duterte can lead the Department of Education well and he believes she is up to the challenge."

Duterte-Carpio, during the campaign, said she would push for mandatory military service for all Filipinos after they turn 18 years old.

Marcos' spokesman, however, said he was not at liberty to reveal the names of other appointees.

"For the economy, he really wants to have the best person out there available. The challenge is how will you convince them to leave their private life," Rodriguez said.

Robredo concede?

When asked if the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo should concede, Rodriguez said concession was not imposed but freely given.

Robredo, who trailed Marcos with more than 14 million votes, has urged her supporters to respect the outcome of the polls but stay the course on a movement that saw an outpouring of volunteerism.

"The numbers are there, we're looking at the same transparency server. For those who are protesting, stop pushing for your agenda for hostility among Filipinos. Hindi po tayo ang magkakaaway (We're not enemies)," he said.

"Ngayong nagsalita na ang higit sa mayorya ng mag Piipino, 31 million Filipinos have spoken…respetuhin at kilalanin po natin ang Saligang Batas."

(Now that the majority of Filipinos have spoken, 31 million Filipinos have spoken…Let's respect and recognize the Constitution.)

Rodriguez added that their camp was willing to talk to anyone "regardless of their political color, race or belief."