Duterte offers to resign if former military generals in Cabinet get involved in corruption

Published April 21, 2021, 1:41 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte intends to resign alongside any former military official in his Cabinet if he — or anyone of them — gets entangled with corruption.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on April 19, 2021.

But so far, the President is convinced that his Cabinet members, who previously served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), remained corruption-free. Duterte is even satisfied with the performance of these retired military officers in his official family.

“Tingnan mo ang DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) wala ng reklamo, wala ng corruption, DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) ganoon. Tapos magtanong kayo, eh bakit military? Hindi naman lahat military. Tingnan — gusto ko lang ‘yong talagang matapang na sinusunod (Look at the DILG, there is no complaint, no corruption. Same with DSWD. Then you ask why the military? Not all of them are military. I just want really brave people who follow),” Duterte said in a televised address Monday, April 19.

“Hanggang ngayon wala akong narinig kasi kung mayroon, sabay kaming mag-resign, sa totoo lang (Up to now, I have not heard of anything because if there is, we will both resign actually),” he said.

Duterte earlier said he preferred former military men in key government posts since they get the job done fast and without complaints. He previously complained of the tendency of some civilian public servants to drag their feet in performing a task.

In his remarks Monday, Duterte defended anew his appointment of former military officials in key government posts, citing they are fast and efficient in completing tasks.

“Kung mag-asa ako sa sibilyan, patay ang sibilyan. Kaya always, if I want things done, military talaga ‘yan (If I rely on civilians, we’re dead. So always, if I want things done, I rely on the military),” he said.

“If ‘pag may ano, it’s either Año or si Rolly, ‘Gawin mo nga ‘to.’ (If there’s something that needs to be done, it’s either Año o Rolly. ‘Please do this’) and it will be done, walang corruption (no corruption),” he added.

Duterte was referring to Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.

Año, a member of the Philippine Military Class of 1983, served as military chief before joining the Duterte Cabinet in 2018.  

Bautista was the Army chief prior to this DSWD appointment in the same year. The former Presidential Security Group commander graduated from the PMA in 1985.

Among the former military officials in the Duterte Cabinet are Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Presidential Adviser for Peace Process and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, and Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario.