PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday, Oct. 26, appointed Francisco T. Duque III to the Department of Health which he once headed during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration.

Mr. Duque, whom Mr. Duterte appointed in February to the board of trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), currently serves as GSIS chairman.

Mr. Duque’s ad interim appointment follows in the wake of the Commissions on Appointments’ rejection of Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial as health secretary on Oct. 10.

Mr. Duque served as health secretary from June 2005 to January 2010. Before that stint, he was president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. from 2001 to 2005.

Also on Thursday, Mr. Duterte announced that he would appoint newly retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo M. Año as interior secretary, as Mr. Duterte had hinted in past remarks.

“He would head the Department of Interior and Local Government. But while he is prohibited from assuming the task for one year — and that is the law, from the military service to the civilian sector, you have to wait for one year,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech during the change of command ceremony at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

“Either he takes the title of Special Assistant to the President or Undersecretary, whichever is tenable legally. And he will now supervise the Philippine National Police, together with General Lito Cuy (Catalino S. Cuy),” Mr. Duterte also said. — Rosemarie A. Zamora