The student of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is rumored to be the next Secretary of the Department of Finance.
A Babbler said Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the current chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is at the top of President Bongbong Marcos’ list of potential replacements for Finance Secretary Ben Diokno.
Babbler said the other candidates being considered for the position are former Senator Mar Roxas and former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro (who has to wait until May next year before he can be eligible for a government post).
Salceda, a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and Asian Institute of Management, is a financial genius who has been a politiko (congressman and governor) for the last 26 years but has served as the go-to guy of past presidents for economic advice.
He used to be one of the world’s highest-paid researchers at Baring Securities and he reportedly got paid more than the country’s central bank chief.
“The President wants somebody he can trust to maneuver our way out of the rising inflation and falling peso. Apparently, he doesn’t think Diokno is that guy,” Babbler said.
Babbler said the writing has been on the wall on Diokno’s imminent dismissal after Marcos fired the Finance Secretary’s handpicked taxman, Lilia Guillermo, and appointed his godson, Romeo Lumagui Jr. last week.
According to the Babbler, Diokno’s other protege, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, would also most likely be kicked out if Diokno is axed “to give the new Secretary a free start.”
So what happens to Diokno?
Babbler said Diokno could go back to hs old post as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor with the current occupant, Felipe Medalla moving back to his old seat on the Monetary Board.
“But that is just one of the possibilities. At this point, it’s unclear whether the President will give Diokno another post,” Babbler said.