Cabinet ‘militarization,’ Mocha appointment hit

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THE Liberal Party (LP) on Friday expressed concern over an apparent “militarization” happening in the bureaucracy, pointing to the continuous appointments of former police and military men in the government by President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Senator Francis Pangilinan, LP president, cited the recent installation of former Armed Forces chief of staff and now retired general Roy Cimatu as head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Cimatu replaced former DENR Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez, who was recently rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) in a 16-8 vote.

Pangilinan also mentioned the President’s plan to appoint AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año as head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) after the latter retires in October this year.

“Do these appointments mean the militarization of the government bureaucracy?” Pangilinan asked.

Other ex-police and military men appointed by Duterte were former AFP Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya to the National Irrigation Administration; former Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, as commissioner of the Bureau of Customs; ex-police director Jorge Corpuz, chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office; former Davao City Police chief Jaime Morente to the Bureau of Immigration; former PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Edgar Galvante; and former police general Reynaldo Berroya, as head of the Light Rail Transit Authority.

The LP president assailed the inclusion in the President’s communications group of someone who allegedly has been maligning legitimate media practitioners in the country.

Pangilinan was referring to the appointment of singer-dancer Mocha Uson to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which according to him is also a cause for concern.

He said many people, including ordinary government workers doing critical work for lower pay and who have been contractual employees for a long time felt slighted by the appointment of the singer-dancer as PCOO Assistant Secretary.

The LP, he said, shares the sentiments of the ordinary people over the decision of President to appoint Uson, also a blogger.

Pangilinan also cited an incident last March wherein Uson, without provocation, used her radio program to bash LP chairman and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, calling her names and disrespecting her person, her office and the millions who voted for her.

The incident has led to the indefinite suspension of the singer-dancer’s 30-minute program aired over dzRH, operated by the Manila Broadcasting Company.

Uson, a staunch supporter of the President, has been attacking the Philippine media calling them “prestitutes.”

“Public office is public service that needs competence, integrity and passion. All government offices are integral to the success or failure of government, as well as the Filipino people,” the LP president said.

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