Interior, Social Welfare chiefs, others confirmed

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THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed Eduardo M. Año as the Interior Secretary, Rolando D. Bautista as Social Welfare Secretary, and Aileen A. Lizada as commissioner of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

The three officials held previous government posts before being reappointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to their current portfolios.

Mr. Año previously headed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the Marawi siege back in 2017 when government forces clashed with the terrorist Maute group. He was also the martial law administrator when the government declared martial law in Mindanao in 2017.

Following his retirement, Mr. Año was only designated as the officer-in-charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) due to the law barring retired or resigned military officers from being appointed as Secretary within one year of their retirement or resignation. He formally took the DILG Secretary post last November.

Mr. Bautista was the Philippine Army chief prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). He was chosen the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander at the onset of Mr. Duterte’s presidency in 2016. He was later assigned in Mindanao as the Commander of the 1st Infantry Division.

Mr. Año is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matikas” class of 1983, while Mr. Bautista is from the “Sandiwa” class of 1985.

Ms. Lizada was among the board members of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) prior to her post in the CSC. She allegedly had a conflict with LTFRB chairman Martin B. Delgra III over the agency’s policies before being transferred by the President to the CSC.

Aside from the three government officials, the CA also approved the designation of Noel Eugene Eusebio M. Servigon as the Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Ma. Teresita C. Daza as the Philippine Ambassador to Chile, and Christopher B. Montero as Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam.

The appointments body also confirmed the promotion of 43 military officers. — Camille A. Aguinaldo