By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is apparently pleased with the performance of his Cabinet which includes retired military officials but said that changes in its composition will be announced soon.
“All my Cabinet members are really good and honest men,” the President said during a television program of evangelist Apollo Quiboloy last Wednesday.
Duterte said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol will be transferred to head the Mindanao Development Authority to serve as his point man to spur the development of the new Bangsamoro autonomous region.
He said he was “scouting” for a military man to take the place of Piñol in the agriculture department.
“I assume maybe again a military man. Kasi madali mag-utos, magtrabaho. And they do it without a question. Kaya sabi ko sa kanya, when I tell you do this and do that, do not question me because I will never give you an order to do something that is illegal,” he said.
The President is also reportedly considering Presidential Communications Secretary Andanar to be the next Presidential adviser for political affairs, replacing Francis Tolentino who won in the recent senatorial elections.
Broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo is rumored to take Andanar’s place at the helm of the PCOO. Andanar and Tulfo are known to be friends and former colleagues at TV5 network. The Palace however has yet to confirm the rumored changes in the PCOO.
The President, former Davao City mayor, explained that he chose military men to join the Cabinet for their integrity and competence. He noted that he knew these former military officers when they were assigned in Mindanao.
“Kaibigan nga namin ni Pastor karamihan diyan eh. And they know me, my entrails, at alam ko ‘yung ano nila [Pastor and I are friends with many of them. And they know me, my entrails and I know theirs],” he added.
“Police, military. Pagka-corrupt ka, corrupt ‘yan lahat pero [Police, military when you’re corrupt, everyone is corrupt but] for as long as you keep your nose clean, you can expect everybody will follow,” he said.
Duterte said former military men follow orders and get the job done, citing, in particular, the efficient cleanup and rehabilitation of Boracay as well as the land reform project in the island.
Unlike military men, he noted that some civilian personnel tend to question his orders and delay the project implementation.
“Dito naman sa bureaucracy, and I don’t — this is not really a brief against you, mga critic. May inutos ka na, makipagdebate pa sa iyo. “Sir, ganito, sir. Sir, ganun.” Pagkatapos, “O, sige, sige na [In the bureaucracy, this is not really a brief against you, critics. When you issue an order, they will debate with you. ‘Sir, it’s like this or like that.’ Then, you say fine. Afterward, you ask what happened, they would say ‘The money is gone, sir. There’s shortage,’],” he said.