MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III should appoint experts in key government agencies, instead of giving “juicy posts” to end-term politicians and political allies, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said on Thursday.

“Is party affiliation now the primary qualification to be appointed in government positions? Whatever happened to competence?” Ejercito, an opposition member, said in a statement.

“If GMA’s term was characterized by retired military officers given various government positions, now under the Aquino administration, it is the end-term politicians and political allies being given juicy posts,” he said.

GMA is the initials of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The senator then asked Aquino to prioritize the appointment of professionals in government.

“Not to undermine the capabilities of politicians, but several positions in bureaus require technical know-how so they could perform and improve their services. Otherwise, it is the people who will suffer from their inefficiency,” he said.

Ejercito cited the cases in the Department of Energy (DOE) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) management, both of which are under fire for their botched handling of crises.

“Look at what’s happening in the DOE and MRT. In the DOE, we already have a secretary who is a politician and novice in the energy sector. Instead of surrounding Secretary Jericho Petilla with industry professionals, why surround him with more politicians?”

“The MRT is also regularly malfunctioning because engineers are not the ones managing their office,” the senator added.