President Rodrigo Duterte said he visited Marawi City as a CAFGU so it was okay for him not to wear the military uniform properly.
This was the President’s response to criticisms thrown against him for not wearing the military battle dress uniform properly. He paired it with sneakers and a ball cap, rolled up the sleeves, and kept the top button open, showing a bit of his white undershirt.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano called Duterte’s wearing of the uniform “lousy.”
“A president has the discretion in the way he dresses up but when wearing a military uniform there is a manual in the AFP that specifies how to wear one including the placement of awards and decorations,” Alejano said in a Facebook post.
“The manner by which a uniform is worn indicates discipline of the wearer and the organization or units he represents. Minsan makarinig tayo ng term sa AFP ng “laxitibo”, “lousy”, na ibig sabihin kamalasan at mag ayos ayos ka,” he added.
“I suggest that military advisers of PRRD take note of this. May tamang panahon at okasyon naman ang pagiging “bugoy” which PRRD wanted to project himself…” Alejano said.
But the President defended the way he wore the combat attire, explaining that he wore it as a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU). CAFGUs or militiamen operate under Army units and wear the same uniforms as those in the regular units.
“I was criticized for not wearing the uniform properly because I folded my sleeves and my topmost button was open. I really do not close my topmost button. You know that,” Duterte said.
“Besides, I am commander of all Armed Forces — Navy, Air Force, Army, CAFGU. I went there as a CAFGU. So I removed the Duterte patch and the Velcro and the ‘president,’” he added.
The President noted that as the commander-in-chief, he can choose whatever unit he wants.
“I came there as CAFGU. I can select the unit. I am a CAFGU so it’s okay,” Duterte said.