Duterte can't rely on military alone to solve PH problems – Alejano

MANILA, Philippines – While he is a former soldier himself, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said President Rodrigo Duterte cannot rely on the military alone to solve the country's problems.

The senatorial aspirant was asked during a #TheLeaderIWant interview with Rappler what he thinks about the increasing number of former police and military generals in the Duterte administration.

Kasi ang Presidente (For the President), it seems that it’s the military that is the sole solution to the problems of the country. That is wrong. The military cannot solve the problems of the country alone,” Alejano said on Thursday, November 22. 

Duterte had said on several occasions that he favored appointing retired military officers to government positions since they did whatever was asked of them, no questions asked.

Alejano explained that while he believes former police and military officers are capable of doing their jobs well, they may not have the right attitude when it comes to holding certain civilian positions. 

Iba ang perspective ng military (The military has a different mindset). Even if they’re retired, of course you cannot remove them from that kind of mindset,especially newly retired [ones]. So ang kanyang (his) mindset is to run it as if he is the commander of a unit,” said Alejano. 

He said there are certain sectors, like social welfare and rice supply, that are best handled by experts in those fields.  

So may tamang tugma na mindset at kapasidad ang dapat nilalagay diyan (So the people you should be putting there should have the right mindset and capacity),” said Alejano.

Among the former police and military generals in Duterte’s government is former army chief Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista, who is now Social Welfare Secretary.

Former police general Isidro Lapeña was transferred from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. 

Former military chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero now heads the BOC after Lapeña. 

Duterte earlier ordered the military to "take over" the BOC, sparking criticisms against the President for militarizing the government. (READ: Soldiers in Customs? But Constitution bars civilian assignments for military

The President then defended his preference for appointing former military or police officials to civilian posts, saying persons with military training were less likely to "debate" with him when implementing government policies. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.