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Panelo on ex-generals: ‘They get things done’

March 27, 2020 - Friday 6:03 PM by Jon Joaquin

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Why did President Duterte choose ex-military men to lead the implementation of the national policy against Covid-19?

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo broke down the reasons in a statement issued on Friday, a day after the President appointed Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez as Chief Implementor of the national policy against COVID-19 and Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Secretary Eduardo Año as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the National Action Plan.

All three are former generals who held high positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) before joining the Duterte administration upon their retirement from military service.

“The rationale behind (their) appointment simply lies on their culture of discipline, obedience to superiors, training in organization, tactical strategies in fighting the enemies of the state, and thorough preparedness in organization,” Panelo said.

“They are not embroiled in bureaucratic rigmaroles. They abhor useless debates, they are silent workers, not voracious talkers. They act without fanfare. They get things done,” he added.

Panelo said it is “a must” that home quarantine be strictly implemented that peace and order be maintained “to make affective the fight against the coronavirus that has placed the nation on the precipice of destruction and death.”

He also said the country needs the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as these organizations have the discipline, the organization, the manpower, and the equipment to implement the measures that the government has established.

“They will pursue efficiently and swiftly the emergency measures to end the spread of the deadly virus pursuant to the special powers granted to the President  by Congress,” Panelo said.

“We are in state of war against an unseen enemy and we need men and women trained in the art of warfare,” he added.

Panelo said with with high and senior ex-military men at the helm of the implementing organisations, the  officers as well as the rank and file of the PNP and the AFP “will necessarily follow the orders coming from them, issued by the Commander-in Chief, without question and with impartiality in the strict  implementation of the protocols, guidelines, and procedures established by the national government.”

He said the PNP and AFP will “spare no one nor exempt anyone, whether in the private sector or in the government, in applying the law as well as the restrictions imposed by the Constitution in times of national emergency.”
 

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