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Palace: No creeping militarization in gov’t

Editor’s Note: Starting June 25, the Inquirer will run on its print, online, and social media platforms a series of stories, reports and commentaries on the socioeconomic impact – positive and negative – that President Duterte has made in his first year in office. The articles will focus on how the former Davao City mayor has coped with the challenges of the presidency in five major areas that Filipinos consider most important in their lives: peace and order, traffic, economy, governance and foreign policy. This evaluation of the administration’s achievements and shortcomings will take into account what Mr. Duterte had promised to do during last year’s presidential campaign, his June 30 inaugural speech and his July 25 State of the Nation Address.

ernesto abella

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO (FILE)

Malacañang on Tuesday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of at least 59 former military and police officers to the Cabinet and government agencies.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella dismissed concerns about creeping militarization in the government bureaucracy under the Duterte administration.

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Abella said the President appointed people from the military and the police because he wanted a “more disciplined, more efficient and less corrupt” government.

“The President has never made secret any of his intentions, which [include] a more industrious, more disciplined, more focused and less corrupt bureaucracy,” he said.

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Mr. Duterte was scheduled to attend public events on Tuesday, including the Eid al-Fitr celebration in Malacañang.

Abella said the President vetted the appointees before giving them civilian posts in the government.

“I would say that these are the people that he has vetted. In a sense, it’s not whether they’re military or not,” he said.

“It’s just that these are the people within his scope of attention that, you know, that fulfill, that tick all the boxes that what he wants,” he added.

The appointees “are people who are efficient, people who are not corrupt, people who will do things according to what they have been commissioned to do,” said the Palace official.

An Inquirer report showed that Mr. Duterte had appointed at least 59 former military and police officials, including generals, admirals and colonels to his Cabinet and other agencies.

They were either from Mindanao or were assigned to Davao City where he served as mayor for 22 years.

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Political analyst Ramon Casiple said the President’s appointment of retired military officials to his Cabinet was an astute move.

“He’s expecting that he can still have a good relationship with the military,” Casiple said.

Duterte Year 1

Explore on our special anniversary site the Inquirer series of multiplatform reports and commentaries on the gains and challenges during President Duterte's first year in office. Daily content begins June 25 till July 24.

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TAGS: Duterte appointees, Duterte cabinet, Duterte Year 1, Ernesto Abella, militarization, Rodrigo Duterte
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