President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino as his political adviser.
A list of new appointees from April 18 to July 5 which was released by the Palace on Tuesday shows Tolentino was appointed on June 27.
Tolentino ran in the 2016 senatorial race but landed on the 13th spot, behind 12th placer Senator Leila de Lima, to whom he filed an electoral protest against. But the Supreme Court later junked his poll protest.
On a radio program aired two years ago, Duterte praised the man: “This guy has remained poor. Iyung motorsiklo niya, iyung pa rin noon. Hindi siya gaya ng iba na nagkaroon ng pera. He lives a very simple life. I do not have to compare him with anybody but he is an entity by himself.”
At the start, Tolentino was a Senatorial bet under the Liberal Party (LP). But he left the party after he earned heavy criticism for allegedly sending sexy dancers during a political friend’s birthday celebration which doubled as an LP oath-taking event.
During those times, Duterte said Tolentino deserves support despite the scandal because of his talent and expertise.
“Ako nanghinayang ko sa talent. The guy only has good intentions for his country. Hindi mo naman kontralado magsayaw-sayaw ang mga babae diyan,” Duterte said.
Tolentino earned a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1980 from the Ateneo de Manila University and his Bachelor of Laws in 1984 from the same university’s law school. He later earned a Master of Laws from the University of London, choosing to specialize in Public International Law.
Tolentino was also mayor of Tagaytay City from 1995 to 2004.