By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Philippine Army

Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Gilbert Gapay expressed his readiness to take a new post that President Rodrigo Duterte offered to him.

“I will think about it really hard. I will, of course, take on another position. Whatever that will be, I will take my time thining about it,” Gapay said on Thursday night, February 4, after his retirement ceremony.

Duterte, who led the change of command ceremony, offered Gapay to lead the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) or to be a member of Department of National Defense (DND).

“Sir, after tonight, you might want… you might opt to take the MWSS vacated by Gen. [Emmanuel] Salamat or you might also choose to be with your home ground, the DND,” Duterte said in his speech.

Gapay served as the highest military official for six months before he reach the mandatory age of 56 years among uniformed personnel.

He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, a Medal of Valor awardee.
But with Duterte’s offer, Gapay said he feels that he has still a lot left in his tank.
He also downplayed criticisms about the penchant of the President to appoint military men in his Cabinet.

“As long as you deliver, you put your heart in it, it doesn’t matter if you're from the military or from another sector,” he said.

“It’s not where you come from but what you can do and what you can deliver,” he noted.

Prior to Gapay, five of the past seven AFP chiefs who served under the administration of Duterte were appointed in different government posts. 

They are retired generals Ricardo Visaya, who is now serving as the administrator of the National Irrigation Authority (NIA); Eduardo Ano, who is the current secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC); Carlito Galvez Jr., the secretary of the Office of the Peace, Reconciliation and Unity formerly known as OPAPP; and Benjamin Madrigal Jr., the administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

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