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Can’t wait for retirement: Duterte wants Año to start as DILG chief in June

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President Rodrigo Duterte can no longer wait for Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año to retire in October before assuming his post as Interior Secretary.

At the closing ceremony of the annual Philippine-US Balikatan exercises in Camp Crame Friday (May 19), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that Duterte wants Año to start his job at the Department of Interior and Local Government by June 2.

Lorenzana said he asked Duterte on Thursday (May 18) if Año could stay on as AFP chief on longer so it could address important matters such as terrorism but the President refused.

“No, no, no, no, no. He should be at DILG by June 2,” Lorenzana quoted the President as saying.

The Defense chief said Duterte wants the turnover ceremony for Año to be held next month, although a new AFP chief has yet to be announced.

Duterte announced Año’s appointment earlier this month. He said he wants someone with a military background to head the DILG because of the pressing issues it is facing, such as terrorism and erring policemen.