26 September 2023

PHILIPPINES: Retired soldiers join PS

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A Philippines lawmaker has defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s drafting of retired generals into the Public Service, saying they had invaluable experience to contribute.

Eduardo Gullas pointed out that in the United States former graduates of the West Point Military Academy served in various capacities both in Government and in the private sector.

“West Point graduates have been performing high purely civilian functions as chief executive officers of some of the largest corporations in America and as presidents of American universities,” Mr Gullas said.

“Frankly, I find it absurd for critics to even suggest that President Duterte has been ‘militarising Government’ or ‘undermining civilian supremacy over the military’ with his selection of a number of retired generals to head certain Departments.”

He was speaking after Mr Duterte named former Major General Emmanuel Salamat (pictured) as a member of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s Board.

“Clearly, the President believes that there are instances wherein he needs the help of an executive with a deep military background to get the job done,” Mr Gullas said.

Meanwhile, Mr Duterte has given the go ahead for police officers to receive financial ‘gifts’ from members of the public, even in amounts that are not allowed by law.

“I will not stop this as long as the money is given in the spirit of generosity and not as a bribe,” Mr Duterte said.

Manila, 13 August, 2019

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