FILE PHOTO: Bureau of Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña (UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has removed Isidro Lapeña from the Bureau of Customs and appointed him as the new director general of the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) amid the controversial P6.8 billion shabu shipment that was smuggled into the country concealed in magnetic lifters.
“General Lapeña will move to TESDA. I will promote you to a Cabinet member position,” the President announced during his speech at the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard in Port Area, Manila on Thursday, October 25.
Lapeña will fill the post vacated by former TESDA Director-General Guiling Mamondiong who resigned to run for governor of Lanao del Sur in the 2019 mid-term elections.
“Of course any government employee should expect na anytime pwede naman tayo na magkaroon ng movement and for me this is a movement upward,” said the former BOC chief.
Replacing Lapeña in the BOC is Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator and former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Rey Leonardo Borja Guerrero.
“I know that you are reluctant to… I know that you are happy there and you are contented, so I’ve heard, but the demands of public service and the need for honest men requires you presence there,” Duterte said to Guerrero.
The President has also ordered all commissioners and section chiefs to step down and be placed in floating status.
“Out lahat, to the last man. The commissioners are out, the department heads are out,” he said.
This is to give Guerrero the chance to select his own personnel.
Duterte also announced that a minor revamp in the Cabinet is to be expected in the coming days.
It will be recalled that a number of Cabinet positions were left vacant after several members filed their candidacy for the 2019 midterm elections. — Rosalie Coz