Following the filing of the certificate of candidacy of Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, Malacañang on Tuesday, October 16, disclosed it has yet to find a replacement for him.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador S. Panelo made a clarification amid reports that a female lawyer from Davao would be President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s next special assistant.
“Let me give you some clarification, there is no appointment yet to replace former SAP Christopher ‘Bong’ Go. The President is yet to choose whom he will appoint,” Secretary Panelo said, adding that the appointment could come anytime soon.
As to the replacements of the members of the Cabinet who resigned in view of next year’s election, the Palace official said that while there are no appointments as of yet, there are officers-in-charge who are ensuring the continuous operations of their respective offices and uninterrupted service to the public.
Sec. Panelo added that these OICs were from the same offices and already functioning as soon as the resignation took place.
Meanwhile, following the announcement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) regarding a destabilization plot by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in December, Panelo said this is nothing new.
“Hindi naman ako magtataka na palaging mayroong plot because that is precisely the rationale of the creation of the Communist Party of the Philippines – to oust the present government,” he said.
‘Economic managers support temporary suspension of oil excise in January’
In the same press briefing, Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II underscored that the economic managers fully support the temporary suspension of oil excise increase in January 2019 in lieu of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“Inirerekomenda po itong early announcement upang maibsan ang inflationary pressure at mapabuti ang kalagayan ng pamilyang Pilipino,” Asec Lambino said.
According to Lambino, after President Duterte’s consultation with the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives regarding the suspension, the economic managers gave their go signal to suspend the implementation of the second tranche of oil excise to further strengthen the government’s action to curb hoarding and profiteering.
“Tuloy tuloy naman ang aksyon ng administrayong Duterte para paramihin ang supply ng mga pangunahing produktong agrikultura at para bumaba ang presyo ng pagkain sa ating mga pamilihan para sa ating mga mamamayan,” Lambino stressed.
The DOF Assistant Secretary likewise mentioned that the mechanism of suspending the increase in crude excise tax is actually sanctioned by the TRAIN Law given that the estimates of crude prices for the following months reveal that the average price would remain above the threshold of $80. As regards the suspension of the increase for the first tranche, however, Lambino clarified that the same can no longer be made under the TRAIN Law and thus can only be done through a Congressional action. (PCO-Content)