Duterte Rejects GMAs Defense Chief Offer

Mar. 25, 2006

DAVAO CITY — Davao City Mayor Duterte was being eyed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be the next secretary of the defense, the local ABS-CBN reported on Saturday.

But the mayor said he was not interested. “They should look for somebody else. I am not qualified. I am not qualified,” he told reporters.

Leaders of progressive groups here agreed that the mayor should not accept Arroyos supposed offer.

Ariel Casilao, acting secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said they would not want Duterte to tarnish his reputation, saying the defense department is already marred with corruption.

“We have great respect for him. He stands by the people on issues concerning their welfare, whether at the local or national level. We do not want him to tarnish his reputation,” Casilao said.

Jeppie Ramada, regional coordinator of the party-list group Bayan Muna said, Duterte ” could not govern well under an illegitimate regime.” Arroyo has been hounded by accusation of election fraud and corruption. A few years ago, she appointed Duterte as one of her anti-crime consultants. (Cheryll D. Fiel/davaotoday.com)

THUMBED DOWN. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte does the thumbs-down gesture while discussing with Frederico Gapuz, chairman of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), the reported offer by President Arroyo for him to become her new defense secretary. (DAVAOTODAY.COM PHOTO BY BARRY OHAYLAN)

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