MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed the cousin of his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, to a new government post after firing her late last year.
Appointment papers released by Malacañang on Friday show Melissa Avanceña Aradanas was appointed as deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
Aradanas replaces Patrocinio Jude Esguerra III.
Aradanas was among the five Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor commissioners, led by their chair Terry Ridon, who were fired by the President in December last year for going on various trips abroad.
"Pati siya tinanggal ko. But I told my wife ‘you call your cousin and say, alis sila,’” Duterte said in his speech during the Malacañang Press Corps Christmas party last Dec. 12.
The President has vowed to fire appointees even “on a whiff of corruption.”