Duterte praises former military generals in government

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2021 12:16 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Rodrigo on Tuesday praised the former military generals he has appointed as members of his Cabinet.

Duterte was in Surigao del Sur to inspect the damage brought by tropical cyclone Auring. While listening to the updates reported by his Cabinet secretaries, the President suddenly mentioned that there are currently 12 former military men in his Cabinet.

"Their role in government is precisely, during this time, in time of destruction, sa awa ng Diyos wala naman (thank God there is no destruction)," he said, referring to his Cabinet members.

"In the Cabinet room, kaming mga sibilyan, nandiyan, kaharap namin sila puro military. Ex-military, karamihan sa kanila 'yan. Twelve Cabinet members are all military," Duterte added.

(In our Cabinet room, the civilians sit on one side, then we are facing the military members. Most of them are ex-military. Twelve Cabinet members are all military.)

Duterte has been appointing retired military generals to various Cabinet positions. He has earlier defended his decision, saying he can depend on the former generals.

"When a military man retires, he is for all intents and purposes nothing but a civilian. And second, because I can rely on them. And third is because most of them are fundamentally honest," he has said.

Among those leading the country's fight against COVID-19 are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, former Philippine Army chief; Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff; Peace Process Adviser and COVID-19 policy chief implemented Carlito Galvez Jr., former AFP chief of staff; and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, former AFP chief of staff.

Other Duterte appointees with military and police background include Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan, formerly of the Philippine Army and most recently senator; Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, former Philippine Army chief; Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, also a former military chief; and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director-General Isidro Lapeña, a retired Philippine National Police operations chief.

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