MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he wants retired military chief Eduardo Año to work immediately at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) even as the law bans him from leading the agency within a year from retirement.
“Gen. Año, you’re always welcome to report, maybe tomorrow. I’ll wait for you,” Dutere told the retired AFP chief at the change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo.
Duterte said he has thought of ways to appoint Año at the DILG without violating the law, such as naming him special assistant or even a DILG undersecretary.
Under Republic Act 6975 or the DILG Act of 1990, “no retired or resigned military officer or police official may be appointed as Secretary within one year from the date of his retirement or resignation.”
“While he is prohibited from assuming the task — you have to wait for one year — either he takes the title of a special assistant to the president or undersecretary, whichever is tenable legally,” Duterte said.
Duterte said one of Año’s primary tasks at the department would be to supervise the Philippine National Police, “together with [DILG officer-in-charge] Catalino Cuy.”
On May 10, Duterte said he had picked Año to head the DILG following the firing of then DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno over corruption allegations.
But Año was unable to immediately assume his designation at the DILG after the Marawi siege erupted less than two weeks later and he was made chief martial law implementor.
The Marawi conflict ended this week following five months of firefights between state forces and Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists, but martial law remains in effect in Mindanao.
Año was replaced at the AFP by Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who shall serve as Chief of Staff until December, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.