MALACAÑANG ON Monday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte is still “happy” with the performance of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol amid reports that he may be one of the Cabinet officials who may be replaced or transferred to another department.

Reports citing an unnamed source on Tuesday said a Cabinet revamp may take place soon, with Mr. Piñol possibly to be transferred to the Mindanao Development Authority.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, in a press briefing at the Palace, said when asked whether the President is still happy with the performance of Mr. Piñol as Agriculture chief: “I think so. Wala naman siyang sinasabi sa amin na hindi siya (He has not said anything to us that he is not) happy.”

“Honestly, I have not heard of a Cabinet revamp. I only hear about that, iyong mga tsismis, iyong mga rumors,” Mr. Panelo said.

He added, “Kasi sa akin (For me), since I see the President every now and then, nagbibigay siya ng (he gives a) hint eh, even sa (to the) Cabinet.”

Asked if the President has given the Cabinet officials any hint of a possible revamp, he replies: “Wala nga eh (I said there is none).”

Sought for comment, University of Santo Tomas Political Science Professor Marlon M. Villarin opined that the revamp may happen, citing the Cabinet officials’ “failure to meet the President’s marching order to progressively improve their departments’ targets as well as [address] corruption that [has] remained prevalent.”

He added, “And we know very well that Cabinet officials serve at the pleasure of the President. In fact, a Cabinet secretary is the most casual job at the executive level. Since they serve at the pleasure of the President, they can be replaced anytime and anywhere…. That’s part of his constitutional powers.” — Arjay L. Balinbin