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Ochoa to be named acting DILG chief

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - For the second time in four years, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. is taking over the Department of the Interior and Local Government – this time replacing Secretary Manuel Roxas II who is running for president in next year’s elections.

Reliable insiders revealed that Ochoa – who also heads the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission – is to take the DILG helm for one month while President Aquino looks for a permanent replacement for Roxas.

Ochoa was designated DILG chief in August 2012 following the death of secretary Jesse Robredo in a plane crash off Masbate after attending an official event in Cebu City.

Sources hinted that Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento – the Liberal Party secretary-general who is close to Roxas – may not be able take over the DILG post as the last-term congressman reportedly plans to run for governor next year.

In his speech during the Philippine National Police’s 114th anniversary yesterday, Aquino said Roxas can now step down and focus on his campaign. The President earlier endorsed Roxas as the LP’s standard-bearer in next year’s presidential polls.

Roxas said that while he would recommend some individuals as his replacement, Aquino would still have the final say on the matter.

Administration lawmakers have recommended Sarmiento as Roxas’ replacement. 

There were also reports that former Pangasinan congressman and agrarian reform secretary Hernani Braganza or current DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero – a career official – may take over the DILG post.

ACIRC AQUINO CEBU CITY DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO OCHOA JR. HERNANI BRAGANZA JESSE ROBREDO LIBERAL PARTY MEL SENEN SARMIENTO OCHOA ROXAS
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