Duterte confirms Honasan offered DICT leadership

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Senator Gringo Honasan has been offered a Cabinet position, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of an event in Boracay Thursday evening, Duterte said that he had offered the position of Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to the incumbent senator.

"Yes, that is true. I think he's toying with the idea of joining but I'm not sure if he has decided to actually join," Duterte said.

The President added that he is looking for a new spokesperson, a position that is currently held by Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on top of his other duties.

"I'm scouting, pero preferably from the media community. They would know how to respond to questions," he said.

Senate President Tito Sotto had previously told reporters about Honasan's possible appointment.

READ: Sotto: Honasan heading to DICT

Honasan, a former rebel soldier, heads the Senate defense and peace committees. Resolutions seeking probes into China's reported incursions in the West Philippine Sea, among others, are pending in the defense panel.

Sotto said that Senator Ping Lacson, a former police chief, will likely replace Honasan in these committees.

If appointed, Honasan could be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments before the Senate and the House of Representatives go on break for the holidays.

Honasan's second term as Senator ends in 2019.