Aside from school mates, long-time friends and Davaoeños, President Rodrigo Duterte seems to prefer former military generals for government posts.
On Wednesday (May 10), Duterte announced the appointment of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año as the next Interior Secretary. The top military official will likely assume his new post when he retires in October.
In his speech announcing Año’s appointment, Duterte quipped that it won’t be long before he completes his junta with the number of military men in key government positions.
“May isang bakante pa, madagdagan ko pa ng isang military, kumpleto na ‘yung junta natin. Hindi na sila kailangan mag-coup d’état eh nandiyan na kayo, kayo na. Ako, pagod na ako,” he said.
Duterte’s remark may or may not be a joke, but it’s true that more than a handful of military men have been appointed to key government posts just a year into his term.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and National Irrigation Administration administrator Ricardo Visaya all served as AFP Chiefs of Staff.
Duterte, however, doesn’t confine his choices to the military’s top brass. Several police generals have also been serving in the executive branch since Duterte assumed office. These include:
– Reynaldo Berroya, said to be one of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s favorite generals, as the administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority
– Isidro Lapeña as Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
– Alex Paul Monteagudo as director general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
– Jaime Morente as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration
– Ed Galvante as Land Transportation Office chief
– Nicanor Faeldon, Bureau of Customs Commissioner
– Ceasar Dulay, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner
– Jason Aquino, National Food Authority