Duterte: Alan Cayetano is next DFA Secretary

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senator Alan Peter Cayatano is set to be the next Department of Foreign Affairs secretary, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed Thursday.

When asked if he will be giving the post to his former running mate and vice presidential bet, Duterte said yes.

"Alan Cayetano will be coming in to take (the) post," Duterte told CNN Philippines in an exclusive interview.

He said this after announcing that incumbent DFA secretary Perfecto Yasay will be returning to the United States "to fulfill his obligations."

Yasay was a visiting law professor at the Richardson School of Law in the University of Hawaii, according to his government profile.

"He is in contract as a professor," said Duterte. "Nakiusap naman ako (I spoke to him) because he was my roommate during law school."

 

Duterte said that he does not have plans yet for former senator Bongbong Marcos, who also ran in the last vice presidential race.

Bongbong is the son of the deceased strongman former President Ferdinand Marcos, and brother of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.

Duterte admitted he is indebted to Imee Marcos, who supported his presidential campaign.

Related: Duterte admits 'utang na loob' to Imee Marcos, 3 governors

"Wala pa. I do not want to make promises," said Duterte about speculations over a possible government post for Bongbong.

Duterte said that Marcos had originally wanted to be in the Department of Tourism, but he could not be appointed to the post at the time.

Rules forbid losing candidates from taking government posts until a year after elections; this prevents both Cayetano and Marcos from assuming posts in the Cabinet until the middle of 2017.

"Ang gusto niya kasi sa (He wanted) DOT, but I cannot wait for him," said Duterte. "I have to move. I have to start. We have to hit the ground running."

Duterte said that he is happy with his cabinet.

He added that he is currently "not considering" Vice President Leni Robredo for another cabinet post.

Robredo, a member of the opposition party, quit her post earlier this month after she was banned from cabinet meetings.

Related: Duterte ready to defend presidency, admits problem with Robredo