The two close aides of President Rodrigo Duterte have already given enough hints on who might be replacing outgoing National Food Authority administrator Jason Aquino.
In an exclusive interview with DZRH, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that the President is leaning towards appointing a military officer, who is nearing his retirement, to take over Aquino’s post.
Roque added that Duterte has been “courting” the military officer for three months now, and is just waiting for his retirement from the military service.
“Ang totoo niyan natagalan yung pag-hanap ni Presidente talaga ng pwedeng kapalit at nung nakahanap siya, hindi pwede nga,” Roque said during DZRH’s Isyu.
In a separate interview, Special Assistant to President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go clarified that Duterte has yet to decide on the replacement of Aquino.
During DZRH’s Breaktime, Go confirmed that the President is choosing between two possible successors; one of which is the military officer nearing retirement while the other is a civilian.
“Isa iyan sa pinagpipilian ng Pangulo ng ating Pangulo pero hindi pa siya nakakapag-desisyon kung i-aappoint niya. Very soon, so hintayin na lang natin.” Go said regarding the statements of Roque.
While he refused to name the two candidates, the close aide of the President revealed that one of them previously served the Philippine National Police.
Meanwhile, Go also refuted rumors that Duterte will appoint Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez to lead the NFA.
According to Go, the problems of the NFA need immediate resolution and Galvez will retire from the AFP not earlier than December this year.
“Hindi pa siya mag-reretire, sa December pa siya mag-reretire. Medyo kailangan na may i-lagay para i-address yung problems ng NFA,” Go said.
During a public interview with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Duterte revealed that he will relieve Aquino from his position as NFA administrator, due to his own request.
Lawmakers have been calling for the removal of Aquino as NFA chief due to controversies regarding the depleted buffer stock of the agency, and the price of commercial rice skyrocketing up to Php 70.