Former Estrada Labor Chief and Aquino SSS Commissioner Joins Marcos Cabinet
Presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.'s new Department of Labor and Employment (D.O.L.E.) Secretary is no stranger to the post, considering that he once headed the department under President Joseph "Erap" Estrada.
“It’s really a privilege and I’m deeply indebted for the opportunity to be of service to the country. It’s really a tough decision because… I could have just opted to stay as a private citizen and just watch from the sideline," Bienvenido Laguesma said in an interview with ANC.
"But it’s not so easy to say no to a president-elect who to my impression is really sincere in trying to really put together all plans and programs that can benefit the entire Filipino nation," he added.
Laguesma, did, however, hesitate to accept the offer at first, given his advanced age. He even told the president-to-be that he should've considered someone who had "more stamina" than him.
“Sabi ko ‘Mr. President, I think mas maraming magagaling, mas maraming bata na may stamina. 'Di kagaya ko na senior citizen na,’" the 71-year-old Laguesma explained. "Pero tumawa lang si president-elect BBM, I think maybe, saying na ‘yes, you might have aged, but maybe you still have some energy left in you that can help propel again not just the department, but our country as a whole.’”
Laguesma, nevertheless, considers the appointment to be a "once-in-a-lifetime" offer. He coincidentally began his work in the government under Marcos Jr.'s late father President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. Since then, he has gone on to become D.O.L.E. undersecretary during the Aquino and Ramos years.
He would later serve as Social Security System commissioner during the administration for Noynoy Aquino. He also served as director of Philex Mining Corp.
The former D.O.L.E chief joins a list of Marcos cabinet officials that include presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte, Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla, Marcos Campaign Manager Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., Marcos Spokesperson Victor Rodriguez, Susan Ople, and former Aquino administration National Economic and Development Authority Chief Arsenio Balisacan.