Duterte firm on appointing military chief to head interior dept after retirement

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte remains keen on appointing Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año as head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) when he retires in October.

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The President is also aware, however of a prohibition under the DILG Act of 1990 that bans him from appointing a retired or resigned military officer like Año as DILG secretary within a year after he leaves the service.

“Año cannot work as a Secretary because there is a prohibition that he cannot be appointed. But, I need his services. Año would be under me. I would make him a senior aide of the Office of the President or whatever,” Duterte said.

“[He could also be] Undersecretary, if that is legally feasible. He will be appointed Undersecretary but he [will]function as officer-in-charge,” Duterte added.

Año was designated the administrator of martial law in Mindanao, which Duterte on May 23 and which would be in effect until Dec. 31 in a government effort to suppress a rebellion by IS-inspired Maute terrorists seeking to establish an independent state in the southern Philippines.

“Año has a mission, and I said to him to finish the Marawi job first and I want him in DILG,” said Duterte, referring to the city where the Maute group first staged a series of attacks against government troops.

LLANESCA PANTI

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