By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has elected the Minister of Justice, Menardo Guevarra, as the administrator of the government, while traveling to Israel and Jordan this week.
When Prime Minister Salvador Medialdea joined the President's historic journey abroad, President Roald of the President explained that the President has complete confidence in Guevarra as Chief Public Prosecutor (OIC) to oversee the day-to-day operation and administration of the executive department.
"It is unprecedented, it is the first time that the SOJ (Secretary of Justice) has been assigned as a caretaker," said Roque in Filipino during a media interview at Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In his previous foreign travels, the president usually has Medialdea, also called the "small president & # 39; mentioned, assigned to supervision of government operations. The OIC is authorized to act on behalf of and on behalf of the President, except in matters that the President requires under the Constitution to act personally abroad.
The president flew to Israel for an official visit from 2 to 5 September to expand cooperation in the fields of economy, defense and labor. From Israel, the President will visit Jordan on 5 and 8 September to also renew bilateral relations.
The president's delegation includes his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and his grandson Marko Digong, 13 cabinet members and various legislators and business people.
When asked why Vice President Leni Robredo was not designated as OIC, Roque said it was the President's privilege to elect the government administrator while he was abroad.
"Because that depends on the president he will designate, and the vice president will only take over the constitution when the president dies, becomes incapacitated or otherwise relieved of his duties," Roque said.
"There is no right to OIC siya pag umalis ang Presidente [It does not say she is OIC whenever the President leaves. No entitlement] Depends on the trust and confidence of the president, "he added.
In addition to Medialdea, other cabinet members who take part in the President's trip to Israel and Jordan are foreign minister Alan Peter Cayetano, trade secretary Ramon Lopez, secretary of labor Silvestre Bello III, minister of defense Delfin Lorenzana, environmental secretary Roy Cimatu and transport minister Arthur Tugade .
Also accompanied by the President are Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi, domestic and local government acting secretary Eduardo Año, National Security Advisor Hermogenes Esperon Jr. presidential spokesman Harry Roque, presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, and president and director of legal adviser Salvador Panelo.