Give PNoy a free hand on Usec. Puno’s transfer – lawmakers

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LAWMAKERS have expressed their views on reports that former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno will be transferred to the Department of Agriculture (DA), saying it is best that the President is given a “free hand” in reorganizing his cabinet.

Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora (1st District, Compostela Valley) said it is best at this point to trust President Benigno S. Aquino III to make decisions for the governance of the country.

“I have full faith that PNoy knows best in whom to entrust the peculiar concerns and responsibilities of the different agencies, as he studies and weighs all considerations before he makes any decision,” Zamora said.

Zamora said President Aquino has done far more for the reform and change in the country, than for the citizenry to merely speculate on and isolate his choices for his cabinet.

Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said although a little unpopular, Usec. Puno is neither accused nor convicted of any crime or misdemeanor and besides, he is very much qualified to be a public servant.

“On that basis, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.  The President as the Chief Executive should be given the leeway in the exercise of presidential powers,” Castelo stressed.

Rep. Reena Concepcion Obillo (Party-list, Una ang Pamilya) believed that for a government appointee such as former DILG Usec. Rico Puno to be truly of help and of great service to the government and to fully maximize his potentials, he should have experience and the required minimum qualifications such as working knowledge of the job.

Meanwhile, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala has confirmed in an interview that he and the President have already talked on the possible transfer of Usec. Puno to the DA.

Alcala believes that if ever Puno would be assigned to his department, that he would be a great asset especially in the technical aspects considering his background in agriculture.

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