MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief, Eduardo Año, would be the next Interior Secretary, but only after a year due to legal prohibitions.
“Gen. Año goes to be from a General to a Secretary of the Cabinet. He would head the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG),” Duterte said during the AFP change of command ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
However, the President said the former military chief would have to wait for a year before Año gets his appointment because “that is the law”.
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6975, or the DILG Act of 1990, states that “no retired or resigned military officer or police official may be appointed as (DILG) Secretary within one year from the date of his retirement or resignation.”
Pending the one-year ban, Duterte said he would be immediately appointing Año to a government position not prohibited by law.
“Either he takes the title of Special Assistant to the President or the Undersecretary, whichever is tenable legally. And he will now supervise the Philippine National Police, together with Gen. Cuy,” Duterte said.
Interior Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, a retired police general, is the current officer-in-charge of the DILG after the President fired Ismael Sueno over corruption allegations in early April.
“Gen. Año, you’re always welcome to report. Maybe tomorrow, I will wait for you,” Duterte said.
Año retired Thursday upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 for uniformed personnel.
He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao.
Duterte praised Año for his distinguished leadership that resulted in “a stronger AFP that did not just secure our nation, but also secured our people’s trust and confidence in the military establishment and the soldiers that it represents.”
The crowning jewel of Año’s impressive career is the Battle for the Liberation of Marawi, which resulted in the neutralization of almost a thousand ISIS-inspired insurgents, including their leaders. (PNA)