Philippine Daily Inquirer
Executive Secretary Almendras?
WILL PRESIDENT Aquino choose a new Executive Secretary in the comingmonths ( or weeks)?
According to our sources, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras is on a very short-list of candidates to become “ Little President” in the event ( however unlikely) that the post currently held by Secretary Jojo Ochoa becomes vacant.
Almendras’ stock has risen in the President’s eyes in recentmonths, supposedly because of his skills in managing the critical energy portfolio, plus the fact that he is not identified with either the Samar or Balay factions in the Palace.
More importantly, Almendras supposedly heads one of the three factions of Kaklase/ Kaibigan Inc. Even before being named energy chief, he reportedly held enough clout already to give P-Noy a piece of his mind when he found the President’s choice for a key Cabinet post less than impressive.
The other name on the very short short-list of possible Executive Secretaries is former Senator Mar Roxas who just returned last week from a two-month trip to the United States following his less-than-favorable showing in last summer’s national elections.
Roxas, of course, will have to wait for the one-year appointment ban to end in mid-2011 before he can be appointed to any government post. Daxim L. Lucas
Yet another candidate
ACCORDING to one Aquino administration source, “ Mr. Ranking Cabinet Official” is not the only person casting a moist eye on the post of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
This source claims that another secretarylevel official who holds office at the Palace is also interested in the portfolio if the maneuvering for the transfer of Sec. de Lima to the Commission on Elections succeeds.
This official, who— like Mr. Ranking Cabinet Official— is likewise involved in the legal affairs of the Palace ( wait, aren’t they all?), has also been criticized for his less-than-stellar performance during the five months that he has held his post ( remember all those recalled Executive Orders?).
Whoever it is, it seems clear that some forces in Malacañang want Sec. de Lima to become Commissioner de Lima pretty soon ( even if, or maybe
Nice to Nesting
precisely because, she is not aligned with either of the two Palace factions). Daxim L. Lucas ROADBLOCKS that used to be thrown in the path of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Gov. Nestor Espenilla are disappearing one by one.
Known as “ Nesting” to friend and foe alike, the chief enforcer of the country’s banking regulator has made many enemies within the central bank and the broader banking community for pushing unpopular reforms and for breaking up a few rackets.
Of late, however, people have begun to realize that Espenilla was a batchmate of President Aquino during their high school days at the Ateneo ( Espenilla went to the University of the Philippines for his college degree).
As such, Espenilla has unofficially become a dark horse candidate for the governorship of the central bank once the term of Governor Amando
Tetangco Jr. ends in mid-2011. “ All of a sudden, he is being viewed as a contender,” said one banker, who pointed out that some of his peers have softened or quieted down their opposition to the policies of Espenilla, who heads the central bank’s supervision and examination sector ( essentially it’s financial police).
“ When you’re a candidate, people inside and outside the organization are suddenly nice to you, just in case...,” the banker explained.
For whatever it’s worth, it looks like the overworked Espenilla will be able to get work done faster in the coming months. Daxim L. Lucas
A NEW business umbrella organization is being set up to represent the “ under represented” firms based in Manila.
The group— called The Manila Mandate— is being put together by political strategist and Manileño Tony
Gatmaitan to take up the cudgels for firms whose interests are not prominently represented by groups like the Makati Business Club or the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, according toGatmaitan.
In true trying-to-revive-Manila’sglory fashion, the group will be launched on Friday, Dec. 3, at the historic Manila Grand Opera House with Mayor Fred Lim as the guest of honor.
For Manila history buffs, the Manila Grand Opera House was once owned by Toribio Teodoro, who also owned Ang Tibay shoes ( the local Ferragamo of its day, according to old timers).
The opera house was built using profits from his lucrative supply contract with the Philippine Army for their combat boots needs during the time of President Quezon.
The Manila Grand Opera House was also the venue of the Constitutional Convention back then. Daxim L. Lucas
Petron thanks the pipeline
ONE of the stocks that have performed outstandingly well in recent weeks— despite the broader market’s decline— is Petron Corp.
One possible reason is speculation over the company’s potential gains after the petroleum pipeline of First Philippine Industrial Corp. was damaged and shut down, resulting in supply shortages for Shell and, to a smaller degree, Chevron.
Stockmarket punters have been trying to guess how much market share the fuel refiner and distributor would gain due to the gas station shutdowns of its rivals in this intensely competitive market. Wonder nomore. According to a couple of industry sources, the country’ largest petroleum firm has so far managed to raise its market share— which is already the largest— from 40 percent to 45 percent in recentweeks.
If you know how difficult it is to gain even one percentage point of market share in the petroleum business, you’ll know that Petron’s recent gains are no laughing matter. Daxim L. Lucas