By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Rappler

Malacañang on Monday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s preference to former military officials as they are getting things done.

“Sinasabi talaga ni Presidente, talagang may preference siya sa mga militar, kasi ang military – bilang executive kasi tagapagpatupad ka – ang mga sundalo, ang thinking ay sumunod kaysa sa magkuwestyun, kaya they get things done,” Roque said in an interview over DZBB Sunday.

Roque cited the works of former generals Roy Cimatu for Manila Bay rehabilitation and Carlito Galvez Jr. for the coronavirus vaccine procurement.

“Tingnan natin iyong nangyari sa paglilinis ng Boracay, si General Cimatu, nagawa naman niya,” Roque said.

“Iyong pag-aangkat ng bakuna si General Galvez, eh nakita naman ninyo bagama’t sinubukan na pulahin ang pulitika, sinubukan na batuhin ng mga paratang ng korapsiyon eh tuluy-tuloy pa rin si General Galvez. Nandoon siya na para siyang sundalo. Kahit anong bato sa kanya, eh ipinapatupad ang batas at ang mga polisiya,” he added.

However, Roque denied the majority of government officials are retired military personnel.

“I don’t think na totoo po na majority sila ay heneral na, majority pa rin po ay civilian,” he said.

During the Change of Command ceremony on Friday, Duterte said that former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay could choose on whether he will lead the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) or be part of the Department of Defese (DND).

The President previously explained that he preferred retired military officials in government posts because they follow orders and get the job done efficiently. Duterte said he has “a special fondness” for the military personnel since they are honest and industrious.

Duterte said they were different from some civilian public servants who supposedly drag their feet in completing a task.

Among the former military officials in the Duterte Cabinet are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.

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