Marcos offers Cabinet posts to Ople, Laguesma

FORMER Labor secretary Bienvenido “Benny” Laguesma and overseas Filipino worker advocate Susan “Toots” Ople are the top choice of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to lead Cabinet posts, his spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Victor Rodriguez said that the president-elect spoke with Laguesma and Ople before leaving for Australia, where he is on vacation with his family.

Rodriguez said Laguesma is being eyed to head the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), while Ople is being considered to lead the newly created Department of Migrant Workers.

Laguesma and Ople have yet to formally accept the offers.

“Sila naman ay very warm ‘yung pagtanggap (Their reception was very warm); they were honored. But ‘yun nga when you’re doing so well in the private sector and you’re doing so well with your private practice, medyo challenging din na maimbita mo sa pamahalaan dahil sakripisyo ‘yan (it’s a bit of a challenge to be invited to the government because that is a sacrifice),” Rodriguez said.

“Humihingi lang sila ng konting panahon nang makonsulta at makausap ‘yung kanilang mga mahal sa buhay, siguro iilang kaibigan at ‘yung mga taong kanilang pinaniniwalaan at pinakikinggan at hinihingan ng payo (They asked for some time to consult and talk with their families and some friends and people they trust to ask for advice),” he added.

Laguesma headed DoLE from 1998 to 2001, while Ople, daughter of the late Senate president Blas Ople, was a former Labor undersecretary.

The elder Ople served as Labor secretary during the administration of Bongbong’s father, the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He held the Cabinet post for 17 years and was later elected senator and appointed Foreign Affairs secretary.

So far, the only confirmed members of Marcos’ incoming Cabinet are Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio as the next secretary of the Department of Education and former Mandaluyong City mayor Benhur Abalos as chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Source: CATHERINE S. VALENTE (The Manila Times)