Duterte defends military appointments to Cabinet anew

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday once again defended the appointment of former military men to his Cabinet, lamenting the "awfully slow" process in the bureaucracy.

With military men at the helm, Duterte said, jobs get done without corruption.

"Basta… kaya gusto ko sa military. Sabihin mo, 'Gawain mo ‘yan, walang corruption diyan," he said in his speech at the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City.

[Translation: That's why I really like the military. Just tell them do it, and there is no corruption there.]

"Ara nga sabi nila militarization sa Cabinet (They say there is militarization in the Cabinet). Ito tandaan ninyong mabuti ha (Remember this). Ako (Me), I have nothing against the bureaucracy... But you know ang (in the) bureaucracy.. things are really awfully slow," he said.

Duterte specifically cited Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Eduardo del Rosario, who are both former military generals.

Cimatu is part of the task force assigned to rehabilitate Boracay while Del Rosario is the head of Task Force Bangon Marawi.

"‘Yan ang gusto ko sa military kasi ‘pag inutusan ko… sabi ko sa kanila, “Hindi ako g*** na presidente na mag-utos sa inyo ng instruction to follow kung illegal ‘yan. Eh abogado ako. Huwag ka nang magtanong. Pero ‘pag doon sa bureaucracy, sasabitin ka, sabitin, tapos every table na dadaan would take eternity," he said.

[Translation: That's what I like with the military. When I ask them to do something I tell them, "I'm not a dumb president who will ask you to follow an order that is illegal. I'm a lawyer. Don't question things. In the bureaucracy, meanwhile, things take eternity.]

The President made the remarks amid criticisms on the promotion of former Customs chief Isidro Lapeña, a former police general, to the Cabinet despite the issue on the multi-billion peso worth of shabu that slipped in the country.

Lapeña is now the Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Former military chief and current Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Rey Guerrero will take over the Customs bureau.

Lapeña is the latest addition to the growing list of former men in uniform heading government agencies.

READ: Duterte defends former Customs chiefs amid shabu shipment mess

In early October, former Philippine Army Chief Maj. Gen. Rolando Bautista was also tapped to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

At least 60 other former military officials currently hold ranking positions under Duterte's administration.