Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte, announced the appointment of retiring Army chief Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista as next social welfare secretary.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
Taguiwalo warns of ‘militarization’ of state with appointment of retiring army chief to DSWD
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - October 9, 2018 - 11:36am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Social Welfare head Judy Taguiwalo is opposed to the president’s decision to designate a military man to lead the department, saying it will lead to the militarization of the state.

In an interview on CNN Philippines’ “The Source” Tuesday, Taguiwalo stressed that the mandates and processes of the DSWD and the military are “diametrically opposed.”

“DSWD, as a civilian agency, has a very different process, mandate that a military organization. We provide assistance to victims of armed conflict, while the military is tasked in securing the territory of the Philippines, as well as in waging war,” she said.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte, announced the appointment of retiring Army chief Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista as next social welfare secretary.

The president earlier admitted his preference to designate military men in his Cabinet, saying they get the job done.

But the former DSWD secretary pointed out how can Bautista, the overall ground commander of state troops during the Marawi siege, rehabilitate the city and provide assistance to the war’s victims?

“You know we’re talking of somebody in active service with combat operations experience right after his retirement being placed in a position of an agency taking care of so many victims of armed conflict, of vulnerable communities,” Taguiwalo said.

She added: “You’re blurring the distinction of military’s role as protector of the security of the country and territory and the role of civilian agency as the main provider of services. You’re going actually to the militarization of the state.”

Taguiwalo echoed the call of Sen. Franklin Drilon that career officials should lead the agency.

“We’re not talking about Lit. Gen. Bautista per se here; we’re talking about the principle of civilian supremacy over the military. Why not give it to a civilian? There are so many qualified social workers, social development workers who have been in the department for so long or have been doing assistance to vulnerable groups or communities for the longest time,” she said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday defended Duterte’s decision to appoint Bautista as head of DSWD.

“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,” Lorenzana said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said it is “not only short-sighted, but unfair as well” to discriminate retired military officers in matters of appointments to the Cabinet and other government positions.

“What should matter is Bautista’s character and public service reputation, not where he’s coming from,” Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police, said.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT JUDY TAGUIWALO ROLANDO BAUTISTA
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