“Why not an ex-military? Maybe it’s time the military should appreciate the work of these agencies and what better way than to put one of them on the job,” Lorenzana said, referring to the forthcoming appointment of Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, who will retire from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) next week.
Boy Santos
Delfin Lorenzana defends Army chief’s appointment to DSWD
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday defended President Duterte’s decision to designate a former military man as head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Why not an ex-military? Maybe it’s time the military should appreciate the work of these agencies and what better way than to put one of them on the job,” Lorenzana said, referring to the forthcoming appointment of Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, who will retire from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) next week.

Lorenzana expressed belief that Bautista would do good in the agency.

“This may make the job of the DSWD convergent or complementary to what the military and police are doing or vice versa,” he said.

Lorenzana said he doesn’t know why former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo is opposing Bautista’s appointment. 

“It is the prerogative of the President to appoint whoever he wishes. She should respect it as we respected the decision of the President to appoint her to the position, knowing that she is a CPP member. Did the security sector object? No,” Lorenzana said, referring to Taguiwalo as a former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“General Bautista’s advantage is that he is a professional and as such, he can ensure that the DSWD does its mission. He has the trust and confidence of the President,” he said.

Duterte earlier admitted his preference to appoint military men in his Cabinet, saying they get the job done. 

Lorenzana said it is not yet known who would replace Bautista as the next chief of the Philippine Army, the military’s largest command.

Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson supports Bautista as DSWD chief.

Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police, said Bautista would be a civilian when he heads the DSWD.

He said discriminating against retired military officers in matters of appointments to the Cabinet and other positions in government “is not only shortsighted, but unfair as well.”

“What should matter is Bautista’s character and public service reputation, not where he’s coming from,” Lacson said.

“What do they prefer, a militarized or ‘lawyerized’ bureaucracy? One isn’t better than the other. It’s all about the personal character and competence of the individual appointee,” he added.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Bautista has the potential to be a good DSWD secretary, noting as Army chief he possesses the requisite management skills to run such a large department.

“The manpower strength of DSWD at 25,000 personnel nationwide pales in comparison to the 90,000-strong Philippine Army he commands,” Gatchalian said.

“Military work and social development work are two very different tasks. However, I am hopeful that the extensive management experience of General Bautista will allow him to rise to the challenge and prove himself as a capable DSWD secretary,” he said.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DELFIN LORENZANA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT
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