The Daily Manila Shimbun


Ano to become DILG secretary after June 2 AFP turnover: Lorenzana

May 19, 2017

Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano will assume his post as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government after the turnover ceremonies on June 2, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday. Speaking at the closing of the Balikatan exercises, Lorenzana said he tried to persuade President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday night to extend Ano’s tenure as chief of staff  until he reaches the retirement age of 56 on October 26, 2017. “ No, no, no, no,” recalled Lorenzana of Duterte’s objection. “Let’s have the turnover by June 2.” “So that’s it. It’s final, Ano,” said Lorenzana. “I’d like to congratulate the leadership of the Armed Forces under General Ano for his leadership.” Ano, in an ambush interview after the end of the Balikatan, said he has not received any official order. “I’ll just have to prepare the earliest (which) is the month of June.” Ano said the Board of Generals has not recommended any replacement. He said his successor “will just continue the current programs and plans. These have all been lined up.” These plans are “documented and deliberately orchestrated,” he said. “Whoever will replace me will not find it difficult because it is all documented. The ground commanders in the field know what to do.” He became AFP Chief of Staff in December, replacing General Ricardo Visaya, who was later tapped by Duterte to head the National Irrigation Administration after then head Peter Lavina, a long-time associate of Duterte, resigned. Ano said being Department of Interior and Local Government secretary is a big responsibility. “Because the role of the DILG in the programs of the president is a huge one, a permanent and regular secretary would have to aasume the post,” said Ano. The DILG is headed by Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, who was named officer-in-charge, after Secretary Miguel Sueno was sacked by Duterte in April. Ano said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will be head the anti-drug war, which has become controversial internationally. “The police on the ground will support the PDEA,” said Ano. “We will find ways how they can defeat the war on druigs without ah.. I mean using and following the rule of law.” ( DMS)