ANN/THE STAR – The wife of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said she is fed up with all the talk that she is involved in the appointment of officials in government and the military.
In what appeared to be a selfie video, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos recorded herself warning everyone against using her name to get appointed to a government or military post.
In her 35-second video message, shared with the Malacañang Press Corps on Saturday, said she had “nothing to do” with the appointment of government officials.
She specifically mentioned Isafp, or the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp), but did not explain why she cited this military unit.
“I don’t know the people involved. I have nothing to do with the appointments, I leave that up to my husband,” she said.
“And if I find out that somebody is using my name, I shall tell my husband not to appoint you, OK?” she quickly added. “So, I hope this is clear for everyone.”
The First Lady made the video on the grounds of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) compound at Malacañang with PSG Commander Colonel Ramon Zagala just an arm’s length away from her.
She told Zagala to “disseminate this (warning) to everybody because I am sick and tired of people using my name”.
“Yes ma’am,” he replied.
The PSG commander did not respond to the Inquirer’s request for comment on why the First Lady issued the warning. In the case of Isafp, the most recent appointment was its acting chief, Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, who replaced Brigadier General Marcelino Teofilo, in October last year. Teofilo was appointed Isafp chief in July.
Controversies regarding appointments, resignations and dismissals emerged in the early months of the Marcos administration.
Marcos lost three key officials last year with the resignation of his Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, and Commission on Audit Chair Jose Calida.
Rodriguez left on September 17, 2022, after serving 79 days as executive secretary.
His name was dragged into an alleged bribery scheme that promised presidential appointments in exchange for PHP100 million.
Denying the allegation, he said he resigned from his post because he wanted more time with his family.
Being an executive secretary was “a 24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to every day”, he said.
Angeles resigned on October 4 2022, following Rodriguez’s ”due to health reasons”.
Her resignation came weeks after making a blunder in saying that only Marcos had been accommodated by United States President Joe Biden for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Calida, a known Marcos supporter, also resigned due to “multiple reasons” that were not disclosed to the public.
Rodriguez, Cruz-Angeles and Calida were all bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.
In November, the president appointed Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr as the new head of the agency, replacing Lilia Guillermo, who was appointed only in June last year. Lumagui is the husband of Carmela Esquivas-Lumagui, a trusted aide of the first lady.