ARMED FORCES of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero will retire soon and will be appointed next to head the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), President Rodrigo R. Duterte said.
“Jagger is retiring…and his position is waiting because I fired the Marina [chief],” Mr. Duterte said during his speech at the Manila Times’ 7th Business Forum in Davao City on Feb. 9.
Mr. Guerrero was due to retire on Dec. 17 last year when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56, but the President extended his term until April 24 this year.
Mr. Duterte mentioned Mr. Guerrero’s upcoming retirement as he defended his appointing former military officials to key civilian positions, saying “they get the job done.”
“Now, bakit military? Kasi ang military isang utos lang,” he said.
(Now, why the military? Because the military are quick to follow an order.)
The President also said he is quite familiar with most of the military men, because they used to work with him in Mindanao.
He said: “It is not because…the military is my favorite. These guys are not from here. But during their tour of duty [in their] career, they [had] passed by Mindanao.”
“So, I know all of them. And only those also military men that I know. The others, they are all good [and] honest,” Mr. Duterte also said.
‘INFESTED WITH MILITARY MEN’
He likewise mentioned that he had asked retired military chief Eduardo M. Año to assist Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, himself a retired chief of the AFP.
“Now Jagger [the incumbent AFP chief of staff] will assume [the Marina post], so I’m looking for another guy,” he said.
“So, I’m getting them to work for me. Actually, my Cabinet…is now heavily infested with military men,” Mr. Duterte said.
Marina was previously headed by Marcial Quirico C. Amaro III whom Mr. Duterte fired for his “excessive” foreign trips.
In his recent speeches, Mr. Duterte repeatedly accused Mr. Amaro of attending various conventions abroad on climate change.
“Climate change conference in Africa, he’s there. Climate change in Europe in Switzerland, [he’s there]. Climate change in California, [he’s there too]. How many conferences on climate change do we need?” the President said, adding: “So now, nobody gets out of the country. You have to ask my permission.”
Marina is under the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and is responsible for integrating the development, promotion, and regulation of the maritime industry. — Arjay L. Balinbin