Arroyo backs Duterte on designating ex-military men to gov’t posts
‘They are actually great fighters that is the reason [he selected them],’ says the previous president turned Pampanga second District congresswoman
Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo backs President Rodrigo Duterte’s propensity for selecting previous military and cops to key non military personnel government posts.
On Friday, October 26, Arroyo was inquired as to whether she concurred with Duterte delegating previous military officers to government positions.
“They are actually great troopers that is the reason [he delegated them],” said the previous
president turned Pampanga second District congresswoman.
Inquired as to whether there is leverage to having military and cops in the administration, Arroyo answered, “Yes.”
Arroyo defended Duterte a day after he “promoted” Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, a former police general,
to director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, a post with a Cabinet-rank.
Militarization over Government Administration
Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief and current Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Rey Guerrero will take over the BOC after Lapeña.
It not surprising for Arroyo to back Duterte’s appointments, as she herself criticized for the
“militarization” of her own government during her 9-year term as president.
Among the former military and police officers whom Arroyo appointed to civilian posts during her presidency
include Eduardo Ermita for executive secretary, Hermogenes Ebdane for the Department of Public Works and Highways,
Angelo Reyes for the Department of Energy, Leandro Mendoza for the Department of Transportation and Communications,
Hermogenes Esperon for the Presidential Management Staff, and Avelino Razon for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Arroyo, however, refused to comment specifically on Lapeña’s transfer to TESDA and his replacement in the BOC with Guerrero.
“Let me just say that I’ve been president and I know more or less than the President has to consider so many things when
he makes his decision, so I’m not going to be a part of the peanut gallery making comments on his actions,” said the Speaker.
Opposition congressmen, however, slammed the increasing “militarization” of the Duterte administration.
They said Lapeña “recycled” to protect him from the backlash from the congressional probe into the P11-billion
worth of shabu smuggled into the country that slipped past the government’s top anti-drug agencies.