Año says ‘very early’ DILG offer surprised him

Carmela Fonbuena

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Año says ‘very early’ DILG offer surprised him
The Armed Forces chief of staff is just as shocked at the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The announcement no less than from President Rodrigo Duterte came “very early” and too soon for Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo Año, who is retiring 4 months from now yet – in October.

Duterte on Wednesday, May 10, said he would be appointing Año as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government after he retires.

Apparently, he never discussed this with Año.

“I am surprised because it’s very early. Although there is already talk that I’m being considered for a government position once I retire, [I didn’t expect the announcement today]. Not this soon. It’s very soon,” Año said in a phone interview with reporters. 

Año said he will first have to focus on his task in the military. “I will still continue and focus on my job as chief of staff. We still have a lot of task to do. The right time will come always,” Año said.

Año has set a self-imposed deadline to diminish the Abu Sayyaf Group by June 30, a goal that he has said is on track. The military killed several Abu Sayyaf leaders in operations in recent months. 

If and when the DILG appointment happens, Año said, “I will do my best to be able to contribute.”

Año said the DILG post would let him continue addressing the country’s internal security problem.

He will have direct supervision of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which conducts joint operations with the military on major threats. PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa was Año’s junior at the Philippine Military Academy.

The announcement comes as the PNP is criticized over its intelligence failure in the back-to-back blasts in Quiapo.

Año is a veteran intelligence officer. – Rappler.com

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