AFP chief Año named martial law administrator

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 24, announced that he has named Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Año as martial law administrator in Mindanao.

Duterte confirmed this in a news briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, in response to a reporter who asked who will serve as martial law administrator after the President placed Mindanao under military rule

"The chief of staff. He's there," Duterte answered the reporter, pointing to Año, who was in the audience. (READ: Año's challenge: How to lead PH military under Duterte?)

The President said Año was supposed to take office this week as chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) but he changed his mind.

Duterte said he was, in fact, "extending" Año's tour of duty for 6 months.

"Año is supposed to retire next week but I said it's not good to be changing horses midstream. He is extended in his tour of duty for another 6 months and after that we will review," Duterte said, in response to questions.

Duterte made this announcement a day after he placed Mindanao under martial law due to an attack by the terrorist Maute Group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

On May 10, Duterte named Año as his next interior secretary. The AFP chief was supposed to retire in June to assume the Cabinet position, or 4 months ahead of his mandatory retirement in October, upon orders from the President.

Duterte pointed out that Año is "supposed to take over DILG" because the agency has its own problems, especially with the police.

In Wednesday's press briefing, the President also explained that he declared martial law in Mindanao due to the threat of the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS).

At the same time, he said he is considering expanding the implementation of martial law to the entire Philippines if the terror threat persists. – Rappler.com 

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

image