MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Senator Gregorio Honasan as the next secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), amid questions on his qualifications.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte chose Honasan based on trust, confidence, and integrity. However, Honasan’s fate rests on the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments, said Panelo, as he parried questions on whether the senator, a former military man, was capable of leading a highly technical department such as the DICT.
“It is not for us to decide on that – it will be the Commission on Appointments. There will be vetting there; there will be shearing, and you will have to respond to questions on his competence,” Panelo said in a news conference.
Republic Act 10844 requires that the department’s secretary, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries should have at least seven years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology, information technology service management, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy. e-Commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector.
Malacañang on Thursday released Honasan's nomination paper, dated Nov. 20.
Honasan will replace DICT officer in charge Eliseo Rio, who served as the head of the National Telecommunications Commission during the time of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Honasan's acceptance of the offer comes as the DICT named Mislatel as the country's third telco player.