MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Gabriela party-list representative Luzviminda Cololot Ilagan as Department of Social Welfare and Development undersecretary.
Ilagan taught at the Ateneo de Davao University for 41 years and served as OIC Davao City councilor from 1986 to 1988 and then as elected councilor from 1998 to 2001.
In 2016, Ilagan ran as third district Davao councilor under under Duterte’s local political party Hugpong but lost in the polls.
The Office of the President announced Ilagan’s appointment on Thursday, Sept. 14, the same day when her fellow left-leaning activist-lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc decided to bolt the majority in the House of Representatives.
READ RELATED STORY: Makabayan bloc bolts House majority
Ilagan defended Duterte
In June 2016, Ilagan defended Duterte after he catcalled TV reporter Mariz Umali during a press conference. She said catcalling “is not a form of sexual harassment.”
“It’s not sexual harassment. Whistling is not a form of sexual harassment…Siguro improper lang siya na behavior under the circumstances na hindi dapat ganoon,” Ilagan said.
In February 2016, Ilagan also took up the cudgels for Duterte by urging the public to look into his track record as Davao mayor and not focus on his womanizing, which according to Ilagan was primarily due to media hype.
“Womanizing, kissing, most of that is media hype. .. Even if he says that I am a womanizer, may mga girlfriend [I have girlfriends], remember that the mayor is already separated. His marriage has been annulled,” Ilagan said.