MANILA, Oct 18 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III swore in Thursday former Congressman Joseph Emilio Abaya as the new Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Dir. Gen. Arturo Cacdac Jr. as the new head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Abaya was appointed by the President as DOTC head following the death of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo last August.
Former senator Manuel Roxas II moved to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Abaya filled the position vacated by Roxas. Roxas and Abaya were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments last September 19.
Born on May 28, 1966, Abaya is the great-grandson of the first President of the Philippines, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. He is also a relative of the revolutionary hero Isabelo Abaya. His uncle, Gen. Narciso Abaya, served as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Abaya went to the University of the Philippines to study engineering. He also entered the Philippine Military Academy and later trained at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Abaya was elected as representative of Cavite first district in 2004 and three years later he earned a law degree from Ateneo de Manila University. He won two more congressional terms, in 2007 and in 2010. He is the current chair of the House committee on appropriations.
Abaya is married to Rowena Abesamis, a pediatrician. The couple has three children.
The new DOTC chief isn’t a stranger at the Palace. He served as aide-de-camp to former President Corazon Aquino when he was a young lieutenant in the Philippine Navy.
President Aquino appointed former Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. as the new head of PDEA. Cacdac replaced Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr.
A member of Philippine Military Class 1978, Cacdac was the second most senior official of the Philippine National Police. He bowed out of the service on October 11, triggering a top-level revamp in the police force.
Cacdac was the PNP’s deputy director general for administration when he retired. (MNS)
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