Duterte may appoint Año as undersecretary to skirt law
President Rodrigo Duterte is keen on having Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año at the helm of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) despite a law that bars him from immediately assuming the post after he retires in October.
Mr. Duterte said he could appoint Año as an undersecretary or senior aide in Malacañang to oversee the DILG to get around the DILG Act of 1990, which states that no retired or resigned military officer or police official “may be appointed as secretary within one year from the date of his retirement or resignation.”
“It’s Año. But Año cannot work as a secretary because there is a prohibition that he cannot be appointed (immediately),” the President told a press briefing.
“I need his services. Año would be under me. I would make him a senior aide of the Office of the President or … undersecretary if that is legally feasible,” he added.
Mr. Duterte said Año could have a rank of undersecretary at the Palace but he “performs as officer in charge” of the DILG.
However, the President said he wanted Año to finish first the crisis in Marawi, which was overrun by Maute terrorists on May 23.
Mr. Duterte announced Año’s designation as the next DILG secretary on May 10 after former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno was fired in April over alleged corruption involving the purchase of firetrucks from Austria.
Undersecretary Catalino Cuy is running the DILG as acting Interior secretary.
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