July 16, 2019
Impressed with the integrity and competence of soldiers, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was inclined to appoint more military men to the government in his last three years in office.
In a recent interview in Malacañang that was organized to preview his next State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte expressed dismay over the sluggish work of some civilian workers in the bureaucracy, which he said prompted him to appoint former military men to do the job instead.
“Ang problema nitong (The problem of this) bureaucracy is it takes too much time,” Duterte told The Manila Times when asked about his plan to give the military a greater role in his administration.
“Tapos along the way nawawala ‘yung pera kasi ganun (Then along the way the money gets lost) so many excuses, lahat ng (all of the) projects, almost 90 percent,” he added.
Duterte said former military officers were efficient, and that they follow his orders and gets the job done fast.
He cited former military chief Roy Cimatu, now the Environment secretary, who led the cleanup and rehabilitation of Boracay in six months as directed.
“There are about 12 military men in my Cabinet, and not because I want to ingratiate myself to them. You know I don’t have to do that. I was elected by the people,” the President said.
“Ang gusto ko lang sa military is I can have the job done. ‘Pag sinabi mong tapusin mo ‘yan, Boracay and everything. Roy Cimatu started. You only have to ask them, ‘Kaya mo?’ And walang corruption,” he added.
The President had drawn flak for filling his administration with former military officials and for appointing retired soldiers to posts not related to national security.
But Duterte claimed the appointment of “honest” men from the military would help him stamp out corruption.
Among the ex-military men in the Cabinet are Presidential Political Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Information Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary Isidro Lapeña and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
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