Duterte eyes ex-military men in sensitive gov’t posts

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2016 05:06 AM | Updated as of May 24 2016 01:49 PM

Duterte eyes ex-military men in sensitive gov’t posts 1

DAVAO CITY - Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that he is considering the appointment of former military men to several government agencies, some of which handle sensitive operations.

Duterte said among the agencies he wants to be led by military men are the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), which maintains the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Duterte said the BI post is a sensitive one, while PDEA has become a “useless entity” in need of reforms. He has also castigated the government several times in the past for failing to catch drug pushers and addicts inside the national penitentiary.

(READ: Duterte to take drugs war down to barangay level)

He is also eyeing a former military man to lead the Department of National Defense.

Duterte had earlier offered the DND post to the department’s former chief, Gilbert Teodoro. The mayor said over the weekend that Teodoro declined the appointment, something the latter has denied doing.

In claiming that Teodoro had declined the appointment, Duterte pointed to Teodoro’s supposed links to the mining industry as the deal breaker. The presumptive president has long opposed mining operations.

“I have in mind a former military man. Nung bata-bata pa siya sa Armed Forces, he served dito sa Davao,” Duterte said of the DND appointment.

Duterte identified a certain Admiral Wong as the person he wants to lead the Bureau of Customs. Wong, however, declined the offer.

“Si Wong sana if he was on deck, but he declined. Umuwi iyon galing ng Maryland. Ayaw niya kasi may naamoy na siya na ilalagay ko siya,” he said.

DOUBLED POLICE SALARY

Duterte, meanwhile, claimed that almost all policemen accept bribes and drug money.

This kind of practice will end once he raises the salaries of policemen and soldiers in the country, he said.

“I’ll ask Congress. Sabihin ko doblehin ang sweldo ng military, pati police. I cannot run a country with a corrupt police. I-abolish ko na lang PNP kung gano’n,” he said.

Duterte said his running mate, losing vice-presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano, will work on the budget, so it would be able to accommodate the salary increase.

The presumptive president also defended his plan to increase the salary of policemen and soldiers, saying unlike other government employees, law enforcement agents are the ones being sent to the "mouths of hell."

Meanwhile, Duterte said some of those he had invited to join his Cabinet declined the offer because of the low pay in the public sector.

“Sabi ko ganito lang siguro sweldo eh. Ang sabi nila, ‘Mayor gusto naming tumulong pero nandito na kami ngayon sa edad na ang mga anak namin ay college na, malaki ang gastos… They are patriotic, but the problem is necessity,” he said.