BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno has dismissed the “rumor” about House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanting to head the Department of Finance or the Department of Budget and Management.
“Sa job ko? My goodness, sure. No, I haven’t (heard of that rumor). Kala ko kay Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez, hindi naman sa akin,” Diokno said in a Palace briefing.
“Finance (post) ‘di ba? There are rumors. Sabi nga ni Secretary Dominguez interesting. But these are all speculations,” he added.
In a Palace briefing right after Diokno’s press conference in Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he had no information that Arroyo would join the Duterte Cabinet.
Arroyo, who took over as House Speaker last July, is now on her last term as Pampanga representative.
“I don’t know. We will ask the President,” Panelo said.
“Ngayon ko lang narinig ‘yun. Kasi ang naririnig ko kay Speaker she wants to retire. That’s a new development.”
“She wants to enjoy retirement,” Panelo added. “Wala siyang nababanggit, eh. Kapag nagkausap naman kami every now and then, wala namang nababanggit.”
Last November, Arroyo herself said her possible appointment to the Cabinet was “hypothetical.”
There was previous clamor for Dominguez, a childhood friend and schoolmate of President Rodrigo Duterte, to resign due to controversies plaguing the Bureau of Customs, which is under the Department of Finance.
But Malacañang dismissed the clamor, saying it had no basis.