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Marcos names BIR, Intelligence chiefs

PRESIDENT-ELECT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. named two more members of his Cabinet. Contributed Photo

PRESIDENT-ELECT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. named two more members of his Cabinet. Contributed Photo

PRESIDENT-ELECT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. named two more members of his Cabinet, his camp announced on Saturday.

Marcos appointed former Internal Revenue deputy commissioner Lilia Guillermo and retired Gen. Ricardo de Leon to head the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), respectively, under his administration.

“Marcos has chosen Lilia C. Guillermo, a former Deputy Commissioner of the BIR, to head the country’s leading tax collection agency as Commissioner-designate,” Press Secretary-designate Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles said in a statement.

Guillermo is currently an assistant governor at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) who heads the BSP Technology and Digital Innovation Office and manages the BSP’s IT Modernization Roadmap of 2018-2033.

Guillermo has been cited for successfully implementing the Philippines Tax Computerization Project, which established a modern tax collection system for the BIR and the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

“Guillermo’s strong background in Information Technology and her almost four decades of service at the BIR complements President-elect Marcos’ objective of boosting the country’s revenue through efficient tax collection,” Cruz-Angeles said.

Joining Guillermo at the BIR is lawyer Romeo “Jun” Lumagui Jr., whom Marcos nominated as deputy commissioner for operations, Cruz-Angeles said.

“Lumagui is a tax lawyer with decades of experience who once served as the Regional Investigation Division chief of revenue Region 7B East NCR,” she said.

De Leon, meanwhile, who will head NICA, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Matatag Class of 1971.

He is currently the president of the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC).

PPSC serves as the premier educational institution for the training, human resource1 development, and continuing education of all police, fire and jail personnel.

With the nomination, de Leon would become part of Marcos’ security cluster with other officials from the Departments of National Defense, the Interior and Local Government, Foreign Affairs, and Justice; the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); the Philippine National Police; and the National Bureau of Investigation, Cruz-Angeles said.

AFP welcomes Faustino appointment

Meanwhile, the AFP welcomed the appointment of its former chief, Gen. Jose Faustino, to the DND.

In a statement on Friday, AFP spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said Marcos’ appointment of Faustino as officer in charge of the DND was a welcome development, citing his “38 years of military service.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also said on Friday that he expects Faustino to “hit the ground running” when he formally assumes his post as officer in charge of the agency and expressed confidence that he would “continue the department’s momentum in our internal security and external defense operations, as well as the modernization of the armed forces and the entire defense organization.”

The now outgoing Defense secretary said he looks forward to working with Faustino and his team in the transition period leading up to June 30.

Following a law that requires retired military officials to serve out a year of their retirement before assuming a government post, Faustino will first be designated as an undersecretary.

Faustino, the 56th AFP chief of staff, retired on Nov. 12, 2021.

Faustino is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Maringal Class of 1988.

Faustino, based on information released by the Marcos camp, 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.

He was also commander of the Joint Task Force Mindanao and commanding general of the Philippine Army before being appointed military chief.

Lacson endorsement

Outgoing senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson himself supported the appointment of Faustino even after he objected to his appointment as a 3-star general.

“My objection to his appointment earlier as a 3-star general being the commanding general of the Philippine Army had nothing to do with his competence but his disqualification due to the prohibition under Presidential Decree 1638, having less than one year before retirement,” Lacson said.

— with reports from Franciss Earl Cueto and Javier Joe Ismael

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