Duterte wants General Año at DILG by June

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año will retire on June 2 to pave the way for his transfer to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the closing ceremonies of the annual “Balikatan” Friday.

This is almost five months earlier than the October 2017 scheduled retirement of Año, who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983.

Lorenzana said he tried to persuade President Rodrigo Duterte to permit the AFP chief to complete or extend his term before assuming the DILG portfolio but the Chief Executive declined his request. Lorenzana said Duterte wants General Año at DILG early June.

“I was trying to persuade the President to extend his ( Año) service with AFP, the last time was last night (Thursday) when I said, ‘Mr. President, can we extend the stay of Gen. Año with the AFP?’ but he said ‘no, no, no, no’,” the DND chief added.

“(Duterte said) let’s have the turn-over by June 2 so that’s final,” he added.

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim congratulated the AFP chief on his recent nomination to head the DILG.

Kim said being a critically important cabinet post, “We will of course miss his tremendous leadership of the AFP.”

“But I think it speaks volumes that President Duterte has nominated someone of his caliber to head this very important department,” the US Ambassador said.

“We appreciate all your work for AFP and we look forward to working with you in your new posting Gen. Año ,” he added.