MANILA (UPDATE) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday offered 2 government posts to the newly retired chief of the armed forces, in another potential appointment of a military general to his administration.
"After tonight, you might want, you might opt to take the MSW--MWSS vacated by Gen. Salamat or you might also choose to be with your home ground, the DND," Duterte told Gen. Gilbert Gapay, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 56.
"It's your choice," the President added.
Duterte was guest of honor at the AFP change of command in Camp Aguinaldo, where Gapay passed the military's leadership to erstwhile Army chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
The status of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Administrator Emmanuel Salamat, also a former general, is not immediately known.
Duterte did not say which post in the Department of National Defense Gapay could take.
Gapay, meanwhile, said he accepted the President's offer to take another government post in his retirement, and he will think about whether to accept a post at MWSS or DND.
The President commended the outgoing AFP chief for inspiring troops "to risk their lives to contain the [COVID-19] pandemic, and providing humanitarian assistance to our people."
He said was "confident" that under Sobejana, "the AFP will achieve even more milestones in the campaign to address insurgency and terror, and put an end to all threats to our national security."
He also promised security troops "promotion of your improved welfare, as well as the upgrading of your capabilities in securing the safety of our people."
Duterte's Cabinet includes appointees with military and police backgrounds. Some of them are leading the health crisis on COVID-19.
Gapay said military appointees will "prove wrong" naysayers over the issue of Duterte filling top government posts with retired generals.
“As long as you deliver, work hard, put your heart in it, it doesn’t matter if you’re from the military or other sectors," he said.--with a report from Chiara Zambarano ABS-CBN News