President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Sandra Sanchez-Montaño as the new head of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

Palace spokesman Harry Roque confirmed Montaño’s appointment during a virtual presser Thursday, saying it was the president’s decision.

“Ang bago talagang commissioner po ay si Ms. Montaño,’ so I can confirm po na iyong isang sitting commissioner became the chairperson of the Commission on Women,” Roque said.

Montaño had served as PCW commissioner representing the science and health sector.

She also founded the Community Health Education Emergency Rescue Services Corp.

“Given po, alam ninyo naman po presidential appointment iyan, that’s [the] President’s prerogative,” he added.

Montaño replaces Rhodora Bucoy, who resigned from the top post on July 7.

PCW, in a statement, clarified that Bucoy indeed resigned, and was not fired by Duterte, contrary to reports.

According to a Rappler report, three other PCW commissioners resigned after Bucoy’s departure: media and arts representative Noreen Capili, urban poor representative Corazon Espinoza, and labor representative Emma Ricaforte.

It also reported that Bucoy had been “outspoken” about Duterte’s rape jokes and misogynistic remarks throughout her term as PCW chief. John Ezekiel J. Hirro