MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday swore in some of his political allies to key government posts.
Health Secretary Janette Garin, a former Iloilo representative and a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), took her oath of office before Aquino during a ceremony in Malacañang on Tuesday afternoon.
Last March, the President picked Garin as Department of Health (DOH) chief after she held the post in an acting capacity for four months.
Garin replaced former Health Secretary Enrique Ona, who resigned after he was accused of involvement in allegedly anomalous vaccine purchases during his watch.
Also sworn-in was Undersecretary Joel Jaime Payumo, who was earlier appointed as one of Aquino’s advisers on political affairs.
Payumo, a former mayor of Dinalupihan town in the Bataan, once chaired the LP in the province.
Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel, meanwhile, took her oath as a member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s board of directors.
Hontiveros ran for senator in the 2010 elections under Aquino’s senatorial lineup, but lost. She also joined the senatorial race in 2013 but once again lost.
Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who reportedly also has ties with the LP, also took her oath of office before Aquino. She was a former mayor of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental.
Another newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) official, Commissioner Sheriff Abas, was also sworn in during the ceremony. (MNS)