President Benigno Aquino III is eyeing graduating Senators Francis Pangilinan and Panfilo Lacson to be part of his Cabinet next year.
In an interview with reporters in London Wednesday night (Manila time) before leaving for the United States, Aquino said he will talk with the two lawmakers if they want to be part of the Executive branch.
“Makikipag-usap tayo. Kung meron silang advocacy sa palagay nilang mapapaglingkuran sa pagkakabilang sa Ehekutibo, open po tayo sa kanila,” he said.
— well, number one, siyempre wala naman tayong iku-coerce to accept any position,” he added.
Both Pangilinan and Lacson will finish their two six-year terms in 2013 and will not be eligible for re-election in next year's midterm polls.
Pangilinan is a member of the Liberal Party while Lacson, an independent, supported Aquino’s presidential campaign in 2010.
Asked where he would appoint them, Aquino reiterated that he does not want to put them in a box.
“Hindi ko pa sila nakakausap nang husto. Baka naman sabihin nila eh, ready kaming tumulong pero bakit mo naman kami nilagay dito lang,” the President said. Reactions of Pangilinan, Lacson
In a statement released Thursday, Pangilinan said he was thankful for being considered by Aquino.
“I am thankful for the vote of confidence expressed by PNoy and I leave it to the President to decide where he believes I can be of help in his administration’s reform agenda," he said, but added that
no specific position has been offered to him.
Lacson, for his part, refused to comment on the matter until the President makes the offer to him personally.
"I would rather wait for him to talk to me about it before making any comment or decision. In the meantime, I will treat the news reports like what it is - hearsay," Lacson told GMA News Online in a text message also on Thursday.
— with Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ