Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed yesterday that President Duterte wants Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año to assume as Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary by June 2.
Lorenzana said he tried to persuade Duterte Thursday night to extend Año’s stint with the AFP to address some issues such as terrorism but the Chief Executive refused.
“I was trying to persuade the President to extend his service with AFP, the last time was last night when I said, “Mr. President, can we extend the stay of Gen. Año with the AFP? He said, No, no, no, no!”
“Let’s have the turnover by June 2 so that’s it, its final,” Lorenzana, quoting the President, said at the closing ceremony of this year’s Philippine-US “Balikatan” military exercises at the Tejeros Hall of Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Meanwhile, Ano thanked all those who planned this year’s Balikatan which enabled the AFP and the US Armed Forces raise the level of their interoperability even higher.
“We in the AFP are most thanful to our friends for sharing this path of shared learning and collaboration with us.
Thank you very much and we look forward to seeing you again next year for an event more productive and informative Balikatan Exercises,” Ano said.
Duterte named Ano as DILG Secretary last week. Ano was supposed to retire on October 26 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56. (Francis T. Wakefield)