MANILA – President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet is taking shape.
Besides the more than 20 appointments, Marcos said he will be heading the Department of Agriculture while serving as the country’s chief executive.
Here’s an update of the names making up the next administration.
Department of Education: Vice President-elect Sara Duterte
Just two days after the May 9 polls, Marcos announced that his running-mate Vice President-elect Sara Duterte will be heading the Department of Education (DepEd), a task that she wholly accepted/
Duterte is the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman. She first entered politics in 2007 as Davao City Vice Mayor, and in 2010, became the city’s first female mayor. She was supposed to run for a third and final term as Davao City Mayor until she withdrew in November 2021 and ran for Vice President instead. She gained about 32 million votes.
Executive Secretary: Vic Rodriguez
Marcos’ longtime spokesperson and lawyer Vic Rodriguez will be serving as the head of the Office of the President.
Rodriguez finished law from the University of Santo Tomas and received Executive Education at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Negotiation and Influence Program.
He previously served as Deputy General Counsel of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Rodriguez manages his own law firm, Rodriguez & Partners, and is the president of the Quezon City Trial Lawyers League.
Department of the Interior and Local Government: Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr.
Prior his appointment to the plum post, Abalos served as the Marcos’ campaign manager in the 2022 elections. Up until then, he had been the chair of the Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA).
Abalos had also served as mayor of Mandaluyong City.
Department of Migrant Workers: Susan ‘Toots’ Ople
Ople, who has been long known as an advocate for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), will be leading the newly established Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
She is the daughter of Blas Ople, who had served as the Labor Secretary under the administration of the Marcos Jr.’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Ople founded and headed the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute (Ople Center), a non-profit organization that focuses on upholding migrant workers’ rights and welfare.
An alumna of the University of Santo Tomas and the Harvard Kennedy School, she was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, the first Filipino to hold the post.
Department of Justice: Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla
Remulla, a former governor of Cavite, won as the province’s 7th district representative in the May 9 polls, a position he will be giving up for his new post as Justice Secretary.
He had said that he has a close relationship with President-elect Marcos since 2007, when they were both members of the House of Representatives.
In 2020, Remulla was among those who opposed and voted to kill ABS-CBN Corp.’s bid for a new broadcast franchise.
Department of Labor and Employment: Bienvenido Laguesma
Laguesma has been in government service, particularly the labor department, since the 1970s.
He started as a labor arbiter in 1976, and was named as Undersecretary of DOLE from 1990-1996.
He was appointed secretary of Labor under the administration of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada from 1998 to 2001.
In 2011, Laguesma, who also maintains a law firm, was appointed commissioner of the Social Security Commission.
In 2013, he was named one of the representatives of the Social Security System (SSS) board.
National Economic and Development Authority: Arsenio Balisacan
Balisacan is no stranger to NEDA, having taken the agency’s helm during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III from 2012 to 2016.
He is the head of the Philippine Competition Commission, and teaches development economics at the University of the Philippines.
Balisacan served as Board Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and as the first Board Chairperson of the Philippines Statistics Authority and the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines.
He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii, MS in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and BS in Agriculture from the Mariano Marcos State University.
Department of Finance: Benjamin Diokno
Diokno’s term as Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was supposed to end in July 2023, but was cut short following his new stint as Finance Secretary.
Prior to his stint as the central bank chief, Diokno served under the Budget Department under 3 administrations.
He was Budget Undersecretary from 1986 to 1991, Budget Secretary from 1998 to 2001, and from 2016 to 2019.
Diokno holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration and a Master's Degree in Public Administration as well as in Economics from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Arts in Political Economy from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
According to the BSP, he is Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor: Felipe Medalla
BSP Monetary Board member Medalla will be succeeding Diokno as the chief of the central bank.
Medalla has served in the administration of 4 presidents. He has been a member of the central bank's Monetary Board since July 2011.
He was the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority from 1998 to 2001 during the administration of former president Joseph Estrada.
Before his stint at the BSP, Medalla was a professor at the University of the Philippines' School of Economics, where he was dean for 4 years starting in 1994.
Medalla holds a PhD in Economics from the Northwestern University in Evanston and an MA in Economics from the University of the Philippines, and a cum laude for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Commerce from De La Salle University.
Department of Trade and Industry: Alfredo Pascual
Pascual served as the 20th president of the University of the Philippines from 2011 to 2017.
He is currently the president of the Management Association of the Philippines.
Pascual also served under the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Institute of Management, and is currently an independent director at several listed companies such as the SM Investment Corp.
Department of Public Works and Highways: Manuel Bonoan
Bonoan is the president and chief executive officer of SMC Tollways, the company that operates several tollways such as Skyway, NAIA Expressway, and the South Luzon Expressway.
He had also been involved in the DPWH during the administrations of former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Special Assistant to the President: Anton Lagdameo
Lagdameo will be occupying a post that was formed in 2016 during the tenure of Marcos’ predecessor, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.
Sen. Bong Go was the first special assistant to the president.
A scion of a wealthy clan in Southern Mindanao, Lagdameo served 3 terms as congressman of Davao del Norte's second district from 2007 to 2016.
He is the husband of actress and TV host Dawn Zulueta.
Press Secretary: Atty. Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles
Cruz-Angeles previously served as social media specialist at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) from July 2017 to 2018. In the early 2000s, Cruz-Angeles worked with several agencies involved in heritage and cultural conservation.
She also worked as a spokesperson of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), and a legal counsel for individuals involved in controversial cases.
Among the clients she represented are expelled Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca II and former fugitive-turned-Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
In 2016, the Supreme Court suspended Cruz-Angeles from practicing law for 3 years. The high court said she and fellow lawyer Wylie Paler violated passages in the lawyer's code of conduct against dishonest practices, neglect of legal matters entrusted to them, and accountability for a client’s money.
Department of Social Welfare and Development: Erwin Tulfo
Tulfo has been long known as a journalist and broadcaster. He previously worked as a reporter for ABS-CBN News.
Incoming Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles cited Tulfo’s “public service doing social work for 3 decades” as basis for his nomination.
He had endorsed ACT-CIS, which topped the party-list races in 2019 and 2022.
Tulfo’s brother Raffy, a fellow broadcaster, will also be serving in the Senate this year.
Wanda Teo, his sister, served as tourism secretary in the first few years of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.
Department of Budget and Management: Amenah Pangandaman
Pangandaman is the outgoing assistant governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and had also served as assistant secretary for the DBM.
She also previously worked as the chief of staff of Senator Edgardo Angara from June 2007 to June 2013.
From 2015 to 2016, she worked at the Committee of Finance under the office of Senator Loren Legarda, according to the Department of Budget and Management.
Pangandaman holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the Far Eastern University and a Master's degree in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines.
Department of Information and Communications Technology: Ivan John Uy
The Marcos camp had described Uy as “an expert in technology law, well-experienced in information technology.”
Uy had served as the chair of the Commission on Information and Communication and Technology (CICT) under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
He oversaw the formulation of the Philippine digital strategy from 2011 to 2016, and is considered an international commercial arbitrator on areas involving IT-related disputes.
Uy is also the current corporate secretary of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and a Humphrey fellow of the University of Minnesota.
Presidential Management Staff: Zenaida Angping
Angping, who previously served as a congresswoman of Manila, was the “disbursing officer” of the Marcos campaign.
She won Ms. Caltex in 1970, and was technical assistant of the Office of the Governor of Leyte and executive assistant of former China, Saudi Arabia, and US Ambassador Benjamin Romualdez.
Under the law, the PMS is responsible for the "primary staffing arm of the President of the Philippines, responsible for research and other preparations required for the briefing papers used by the President, and for the logistical and other planning work for presidential trips, both domestic and foreign."
Department of Tourism: Maria Esperanza Christina Frasco
Frasco, the mayor of Liloan town in Cebu, is the daughter of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
She also served as the spokesperson of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte.
A “top-performing mayor in Central Visayas,” she was awarded Presidential Lingkod Bayan Regional Award by the Civil Service Commission in its 2021 search of outstanding government workers for her exemplary performance as a local chief executive.
National Security Adviser: Clarita Carlos
Carlos, a retired political science professor of the University of the Philippines, is among the few civilians who will be named National Security Adviser.
Carlos is the executive director of the Center for Political and Democratic Reform Inc, a non-government and non-profit think-tank.
She was president of the National Defense College of the Philippines from August 1998 until October 2001, the first female and civilian to hold the post.
Carlos was also a panelist in the lone debate Marcos attended in the run-up to the May 9 elections.
Department of Agrarian Reform: Conrado Estrella III
Estrella served as Pangasinan lawmaker before he became a nominee of the Abono Party-list, which supposedly represents agricultural workers.
The lawmaker's ascent to DAR marks the return of an Estrella to the agency.
Estrella's grandfather, former Gov. Conrado F. Estrella Sr., also served as agrarian reform chief from 1971 to 1986 under Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
In 2015, Estrella III was among the lawmakers charged for the pork barrel scam, which alleged that several legislators pocketed billions of taxpayers' money through bogus non-government organizations.
Solicitor General: Menardo Guevarra
After his stint as Justice Secretary, Guevarra will be serving the government in another legal capacity as Solicitor General.
He first served as a member of the Truth Commission established by the late President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, but the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 2011.
Guevarra rejoined the Aquino administration as deputy executive secretary for legal affairs in May 2015 and as a commissioner of the Philippine Competition Commission in February 2016.
He was part of the Philippine legal team in the arbitration case the country filed against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. This led to the arbitral award in favor of the Manila over the West Philippine Sea.
In June 2016, he joined the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte as senior deputy executive secretary before being appointed Justice Secretary in April 2018.
Presidential Legal Adviser: Juan Ponce Enrile
At 98, Enrile is the oldest member of Marcos’ Cabinet.
He also served in the Cabinet of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. as justice secretary and defense minister.
Enrile is also known as the architect and implementer of martial law, a period that saw thousands of human rights abuses against activists and critics of the Marcos Sr. administration.
He eventually led a military mutiny that led to the February 1986 EDSA People Power revolution, which toppled Marcos Sr. and installed Corazon Aquino into the presidency.
Enrile then served as Aquino's defense chief. But she fired him in November 1986 after a failed coup by his followers, involvement in which he denied.
He later served as Senate President and presided over the impeachment trial of late Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
Department of National Defense: Jose Faustino Jr.
Faustino served as the 56th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines until his mandatory retirement in November 2021.
He is part of the Philippine Military Academy’s Maringal Class of 1988.
He was commander of the 35th Infantry Battalion and eventually of the 501st Infantry Brigade, both in the province of Sulu.
Faustino also has a background in intelligence, having served as an intelligence officer of the First Scout Ranger Regiment, assistant chief of staff for intelligence of the 10th Infantry Division, deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the Philippine Army, and assistant chief of the Unified Command Staff for Intelligence of the NCR Command, among other posts.
He was also the commander of the Joint Task Force Mindanao and was a commanding General of the Philippine Army before being appointed AFP Chief of Staff.
National Intelligence Coordinating Agency: Ricardo de Leon
A retired official of the Philippine National Police, De Leon is currently the president of the Philippine Public Safety College, which handles the training of police officer cadets, police rookies, fire and jail personnel.
He is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Matatag Class of 1971.
Under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004, he was designated commander of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force.
Bureau of Internal Revenue: Lilia Guillermo
Guillermo is no stranger to the BIR, having previously served as a deputy commissioner.
She currently leads the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ technology and digital innovation unit and also oversees the central bank's IT modernization plan.
"Guillermo is cited for successfully implementing the Philippines Tax Computerization Project, which established a modern tax collection system for the BIR and the Bureau of Customs," Marcos’ camp said.