Roque defends Duterte’s preference to appoint former military men

MANILA – Malacañang on Sunday defended anew President Rodrigo Duterte’s preference to appoint former military men to his Cabinet after he offered retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay a new job.

In an interview over DZBB, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that the President preferred appointing military men because they get the job done.

Ang mga sundalo ang thinking eh sumunod kesa mag-question, kaya they get things done (Soldiers have things thinking that they need to follow orders instead of questioning them, that’s why they get things done),” he said.

He specifically cited Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Presidential Peace Adviser and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who are both former military men.

Tignan natin nangyari sa paglilinis ng Boracay, si General Cimatu, nagawa naman niya; yung pagaangkat ng bakuna, si General Galvez, bagamat sinubukan na kulayan ng politiko, sinubukan na batuhin ng mga paratang ng korapsyon eh tuluy-tuloy pa rin si General Galvez, nandun siya na parang sundalo kahit anong bato sa kanya sumasagot lang siya na parang robot (Look at the cleaning of Boracay, General Cimatu, he was able to do it; on the procurement of vaccines, General Galvez, even if critics tried to taint his job with politics, he just keeps going. He’s a soldier who, no matter what you throw at him, answers like a robot),” he said.

He, however, denied that there were more military men, as compared to civilians, in the Duterte Cabinet.

“I don’t think na totoo po na majority sila ay heneral, majority pa rin po ay sibilyan (I don’t think it’s true that majority of the Cabinet members are generals. Majority are civilians),” he added.

Over 60 former military officials currently hold ranking positions under the Duterte administration.

In a speech last Thursday, Duterte offered Gapay a post either in the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) or the Department of National Defense (DND).

“Sir, after tonight you might want, you might opt to take the MWSS vacated by Gen. Salamat or you might also choose to be with your home ground the DND. It’s your choice,” Duterte, in a speech delivered at the Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, told Gapay.

Duterte did not mention why Salamat vacated his post but he, too, was a retired general.

Gapay said he was happy to accept Duterte’s offer.

Gapay was appointed AFP chief in August 3 last year. He also served as Philippine Army commander.He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986 and graduated on top of his class. (PNA)