(Eagle News) — Philippine Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. will be the new head of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
This was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte as Congress crafts a law for the return of the multi-billion Coco Levy Fund to Filipino coconut farmers.
In his speech during the PAF change-of-command at Villamor Air Base on Friday, Duterte said that the Coco Levy Fund is now more than P100 billion including its interests and that he trusts that Kintanar will make sure that this money is preserved for the coconut farmers’ use.
“And I want somebody — kailangan ko ng tao na talagang above the rest of the crowd. Taong malinis kasi bilyon ‘yan. Huwag sanang mawala. (A clean man because this fund involves billions [of pesos]. I hope [the funds] would not be lost) At kung hindi man lang maibigay doon sa mga tao na karapat-dapat maghawak sa pera, then you might as well reserve that money for the future generation of farmers,” the President said in his speech.
“Kaya sinasabi ko when we were conferring in the Cabinet, I was looking for a candidate to be the chairman who should be someone na talagang maasahan ko na walang mawala maski piso (whom I can depend on that not even a peso from the funds will be lost),” he continued.
The President admitted that even though he does not know much about General Kintanar, he was already “eyeing him” to fill the position.
“When the time comes and if I can get the mechanisms of how the money will be distributed to the beneficiaries and if I look for somebody na talagang makita ko na ang pera ng Pilipino hindi mawawala, it should be the retired General Kintanar,” he said.
During the event, the President praised Kintanar for accomplishing the Air Force’s mission, especially in its efforts to fight insurgency and terrorism.
Under his watch, the PAF in coordination with other units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other agencies, many terrorists have surrendered or have been arrested, numerous firearms were recovered, a drug laboratory was dismantled, many drug personalities were captured, and millions worth of illegal drugs were seized.
“During his tenure, General Kintanar has proven his commitment to duty as highlighted by his valuable contributions in ensuring security during the rehabilitation of Marawi, as well as the humanitarian and relief assistance during typhoons and disasters throughout the year,” the President said.
“All these attest to the exemplary leadership of General Kintanar and the collaborative efforts of the valiant men and women of the Philippine Air Force,” he added.
President Duterte also rallied support for the new PAF Chief, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez, as the country continually faces multiple security threats.
“I trust that you will continue the Air Force’s advancement through reforms and modernization programs that will transform the organization into one that is responsive to national security and development, and a credible external defense force,” he told General Briguez.
He underscored the importance of engaging all stockholders and communities in fighting insurgency. (with a PND report)