PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos defended on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, the appointments of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Camilo Cascolan and film director Paul Soriano.

Cascolan’s appointment as an undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH) received criticisms particularly from the health sector.

Marcos said that while Cascolan does not have a medical background, he could initiate reforms at the DOH, particularly as the administration carries out bureaucratic rightsizing and structural changes.

“Of course, he’s not a doctor, and it’s not health issues that he has to look at. That’s why he doesn’t have to be a doctor. He’s going to look at the function of the DOH,” the President told reporters in an interview at the Manila Hotel.

“We talk about rightsizing, we talk about structural changes. ‘Yun. We need somebody to examine what has been going on, ano ‘yung maganda, ano ang hindi maganda, ano ang pwedeng mas maayos, that will be his function kaya special concerns,” he added.

Cascolan served as an undersecretary of the Office of the President under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

He was the PNP’s top cop from September to November 2020.

Cascolan is among the brains behind the national police agency’s Oplan Double Barrel amid the campaign against illegal drugs.

In the case of Soriano, Marcos clarified that he will not be part of the “PR machine” of the administration, instead he will work to find ways to promote the country’s creative industry.

“Kasi don s’ya galing e. So ipinagmamalaki, kasama ‘yan sa tourism. Ipinagmamalaki natin, ang gagaling kumanta ng Pilipino, magaling umarte, ang gagaling gumawa ng sine etc, etc,” Marcos said.

“We have to project that to the rest of the world. ‘Yan ang trabaho ni Paul. I hope that clarifies that,” he added.

Soriano served as the head director of several campaign advertisements of Marcos ahead of the recent national election.

He also directed Marcos’ State of the Nation Address in July.

Marcos earlier said that Soriano will only get a salary of P1 per year for his position. (SunStar Philippines)