Two Boholanos, a politician and an economist are among those being eyed to be included in the Cabinet of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s campaign manager, outgoing Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Toloy” Evasco is being given the option to choose as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) or as Palace political adviser while renown economist Dr. Ernesto Pernia is eyed to be the next secretary of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
However, Evasco said he does not want to accept any Cabinet position.
In a press conference with Cebu media last Thursday, Evasco denied reports he was offered by Duterte to be the DILG chief.
“I have nothing to decline because it was not offered to me. But if it be offered, I will decline due to personal reasons.”
During the same press conference, the Boholano official even jokingly said he would rather become a farmer in his hometown than become a Cabinet official.
The Maribojoc born official is one of the trusted lieutenants of the incoming President having served Duterte as Davao city administrator before returning to Maribojoc to run as town mayor. Reports reaching The Chronicle revealed that Evasco holds the authority to recommend positions like department heads of sensitive government agencies.
Efforts to contact Evasco for an update of his decision of being considered as one of the Cabinet men proved futile until last night. He did not answer calls made by The Chronicle yesterday.
Observers said they could not be sure on Evasco’s final decision.
Meanwhile, economist Pernia confirmed to The Chronicle the high possibility that he gets appointed as NEDA secretary.Â Pernia who retired from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was one of those instrumental in the formulation of the 8 – point economic agenda of the Duterte administration.Â Working as ADB Senior Economist he is presently with the University of the Philippines, School of Economics as Chairman Emeritus.
As a Boholano, he is one of the members of the Manila based all-Boholano advisory group of re-elected Gov. Edgar Chatto. Pernia is also a cousin of another Boholano Dr. Romulo Neri who once served the same NEDA post under former president Gloria Arroyo.