Lorenzana defends gov't 'militarization:' We can serve after retirement

Lorenzana defends gov't 'militarization:' We can serve after retirement

MANILA, Philippines — Former military men may still serve the public even if they have retired from service, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, as he defended the allegations of “militarization” in the current government.

“Wala ba kaming karapatan magserve sa gobyerno kung retired na kami? I think we are also entitled to that because we also love our country,” the defense chief said.

On Friday, some 400 retired military and police officers and personnel currently elected or appointed in government were gathered at Camp Aguinaldo for “Samahang Serbisyo Kawal.”

“Marami kasing mga dating sundalo opisyal na nasa gobyerno ngayon, either appointed or elected… Sabi ko maganda sigurong magka-ipon-ipon tayo, chose one or two speakers to speak about their experiences sa kanilang towns, so that magkakaroon naman ng idea yung iba paano nila pinapalakad yung bayan,” Lorenzana said.

“Their experiences are very inspiring, and we believe that it should be known by other people,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been criticized for appointing former police and military men to key positions in government.

Lorenzana played down allegations of “militarization” by critics, saying it was “unfounded.”

“I think yung fear nila is unfounded. Ano bang kinakatakot nila sa militarization? Hindi naman namin dinadala yung culture ng military dyan na martial law sa trabaho. We just do our job the best way we can,” he said.

At one point in the program, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, one of the event’s speakers, called on the participants to express their loyalty to the President by doing the clenched fist salute. /jpv