Duterte’s marching orders to Cimatu: Just do your duty

Jee Y. Geronimo
Duterte’s marching orders to Cimatu: Just do your duty
President Rodrigo Duterte describes Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as 'honest' and 'hardworking'

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, May 19, revealed his marching orders to his new environment secretary, Roy Cimatu.

“Right after I swore him into office, sinabi ko lang (I only said), ‘You are there in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, just do your duty, do it right, and always do it for the country,” Duterte said during the first episode of his show, “Mula Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa” (From the People, For the People), which aired Friday.

Duterte said he chose Cimatu, whom he appointed to the DENR last May 8, because he believes in him.

He also described the new environment secretary as “honest” and “hardworking.”

The President recalled how he used to work with the former ambassador and chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines back in Davao City. (READ: How Cimatu found out he will be DENR chief)

“He’s a silent guy, a very low-key personality, but he does his work very well,” Duterte added. 

On mining, Duterte urged Cimatu to read the provisions of the law and enforce it.

“He would know what to do and he will do it right,” he added.

He said his requirement for his Cabinet members, including Cimatu, has always been to serve with honesty and integrity.

Alam niya ang ugali ko, at alam niya kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng public service. Matagal na kaming magkasama and I’m sure he’ll do his best for his country,” Duterte added.

(He knows my character, and he knows what public service means. We’ve been working together for a long time already, and I’m sure he’ll do his best for his country.)

During his welcome ceremony, Cimatu vowed to protect the environment “in all its forms.”

Addressing critics who alleged that he’ll protect the interest of big mining companies, the environment secretary said he’s been a fair man and that he will make sure that “what was in the law is implemented by everybody.”

Cimatu replaced Gina Lopez, whose ad interim appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments last May 3.– Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.