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Sacked labor official appointed anew

10 February 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Joel Maglunsod as executive director III at the Labor department’s National Maritime Polytechnic after firing him as undersecretary.

Maglunsod, a former Anakpawis party-list representative, was one of the progressive officials Duterte appointed as a gesture of goodwill for the peace talks with communist rebels. Anakpawis is part of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives.

Duterte fired Maglunsod as labor undersecretary last October but did not say why.

That time, Duterte was lambasting groups that were supposedly agitating workers and holding strikes that paralyze the economy.

The NMP website described the office as “the only government maritime training and research center in the Philippines” and is tasked with conducting specialization and upgrading courses for merchant marine officers and ratings, and with conducting competency assessments of seafarers.

In a speech before tricycle operators and drivers in Pasay City last January 23, Duterte again mentioned his firing of Maglunsod.

“So what’s the f***...We have been at war for 52 years. Do you mean to say you would win if given another 52 years? And you radicals believe in (Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria) Sison...Ayan ‘yan si Maglunsod, ‘yung sa - tinanggal ko na (I fired Maglunsod),” Duterte said.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo could not say why Duterte gave Maglunsod another position.

“I’ll check with him (Duterte),” Panelo said in a press briefing when asked why the dismissed Labor official was reappointed.

Maglunsod’s name was on the list of Duterte’s new appointees, including two diplomats while another two were Cabinet members who were given ad interim appointments.

Noel Eugene Eusebio Servigon was named the Philippines’ permanent representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations while Ma. Teresita Daza was appointed ambassador to Chile with concurrent jurisdiction over Ecuador and Peru.

Cabinet members who were given ad interim appointees were Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.

Also appointed was Ana Dione, who replaced Maglunsod as Labor undersecretary.

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