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Duterte Allows Justice Minister Resign, Picks Security Forces Chiefs

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that he accepted the resignation of his justice secretary, the eighth member of his cabinet to leave since last year, and picked the chiefs of the country's security forces.

Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte gave no reason for letting go staunch loyalist and former university classmate Vitaliano Aguirre, but it came at a time of rampant media speculation he would be sacked over his performance.

The president made the announcement during a speech, calling Aguirre "my fraternity brother," and replaced him by Menardo Guevarra, a lawyer who was the deputy executive secretary in the president's office.

Meanwhile, Duterte named Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde as the new head of the 175,000-member national police force, replacing the tough-talking Ronald dela Rosa, whose extended tenure ends soon.

Roque also announced the appointment of Lieutenant-General Carlito Galvez, who led troops in a five-month-long battle in a southern city last year, as the new military chief.

Albayalde and Galvez will assume their positions next week after the president returned from trips to China and Hong Kong, Roque added.

The changes will trigger changes in security forces' leadership.

He said Aguirre's replacement had taken his oath as the new justice secretary.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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