Almendras' Palace post a 'sign of confidence'

Posted at 10/26/12 10:08 PM

MANILA – Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda denied on Friday that President Aquino was dissatisfied with outgoing Energy Secretary Rene Almendras' performance.

Lacierda said the reassignment of Almendras as secretary to the Cabinet is a sign of the President's confidence on Almendras rather than proof of his displeasure.

Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla, who is on his third and last term, is taking over the energy portfolio.

“It is a lateral movement. It is not that he was not pleased with Sec. Almendras. In fact, Sec. Almendras is now going to work closely with the President on a day-to-day basis," explained Lacierda.

"Dati, minsan lang sila magkita, ngayon araw-araw na sila magkikita ni Sec. Almendras so I don't know how one can describe it as a dissatisfaction of the President," he said.

The Palace is set to issue an Executive Order creating the position of Secretary to the Cabinet, where Almendras' functions will be delineated to avoid a duplication of functions between the new office and that of the Presidential Management Staff.

Meantime, the Palace said the Presidential Management Staff will be releasing Petilla's curriculum vitae in the coming days.

Lacierda said Aquino and Petilla have not yet spoken after the announcement of his new post, but they hope to be able to do so when Aquino returns to the country.

This, he said, will be the last Cabinet reshuffle for a while, barring any significant developments that necessitate a new appointment. -- report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News