Benhur Abalos for DILG: Marcos Cabinet profile

May 31, 2022 - 11:09 PM
5206
Benhur Abalos
Benhur Abalos, part of the family that has long been seated in Mandaluyong LGU, is the next Interior and Local Government secretary. (Interaksyon artwork)

Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. 

President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has named former Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos as the next secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Educational background

  • BA History and Political Science from De La Salle University (1982)
  • Bachelor of Laws degree from Ateneo de Manila University (1987)
  • Passed the Philippine Bar Examination in 1987

Work experience

  • Campaign manager of Marcos Jr. for the 2022 presidential elections
  • Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (January 2021 – February 2022)
  • Presiding officer of the Metro Manila Council – the governing board and policy-making organization of the MMDA
  • Mayor of Mandaluyong from 2007 to 2016
  • Congressman of the lone district of Mandaluyong from 2004 to 2007
  • Mayor of Mandaluyong from 1998 to 2004
  • City councilor of Mandaluyong from 1995 to 1998

Achievements

Dubbed Mandaluyong the “Tiger City of the Philippines” during his first term as Mandaluyong mayor as it was named the most business-friendly city in the Philippines in 2008 and in 2013 by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Policy positions

To continue Duterte admin’s projects with a focus on incoming government’s policies:

  • Full devolution to local government units
  • Promote peace and order

RELATED: Who’s who: The Marcos Cabinet

Controversy

Does not directly involve him: Extortion carried out by two traffic enforcers under Abalos’ watch as MMDA chief was caught on video in May 2021 and went viral.

  • Abalos approved the termination from service of the traffic enforcers, saying the office “does not and will never condone any wrongdoing” of MMDA personnel.

Dynasty

Part of Mandaluyong’s ruling political clan; son of Benjamin Abalos Sr, who now returns as mayor of Mandaluyong after 24 years.

  • The older Abalos previously served as chair of the Commission on Elections but resigned in the middle of a corruption scandal that accused him of offering a Cabinet member of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo millions of dollars in bribes to help Chinese firm ZTE win a $329 million contract for a nationwide broadband network for the Philippine government.