Malacanang has released the names of two new undersecretaries and two assistant secretaries who will join newly appointed secretary Gringo Honasan at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Appointed as undersecretaries were lawyers Jose Arturo de Castro and Eleazar Almalbis Jr., while named assistant secretaries were Emmanuel Caintic and Vicente Cejoco. Also part of the team is former DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., who has been earlier designated as undersecretary for operations.
De Castro, a faculty member of the Ateneo Law School, worked as presidential staff officer to the Executive Secretary from 2003 to 2005. He then worked as a public prosecutor from 2006 until his promotion as DOJ assistant secretary in 2009.
De Castro will replace former undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, who decided not to renew his consultancy contract with the DICT to put up his own consultancy firm. Ibrahim became a consultant at the agency in February after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65.
Almalbis, on the other hand, is also a lawyer and former staff member of Honasan at the Senate. He is the brother of singer Barbie Almalbis, who is married to Honasan’s son Martin.
Caintic, meanwhile, is a tech executive who has a degree in physics with computer engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. He served as IT consultant to the USAID prior to his latest appointment and also worked as chief technology officer of the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2015.
Lastly, Cejoco is a former military man who is a member of Class 1982 of the Philippine Military Academy. While in the Navy, he served as deputy commander for communications electronics and information systems service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
As for the other incumbent appointive officials, it is not yet known if they will be retained by Honasan. Republic Act 10844, also known as the DICT Law, requires that there shall be three undersecretaries and four assistant secretaries.
Among those currently serving as undersecretaries are Denis Villorente and John Henry Naga, while the assistant secretaries are Allan Cabanlong, Ivin Ronald Alzona, and Alan Silor.