Philippines' Duterte picks general, running mate and 'sexy' dancer for government posts

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte beefed up his administration by naming his military chief and his running mate as ministers on Wednesday and appointing a racy dancer known for lambasting journalists to his communications team.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who ran unsuccessfully for vice president last year, would become foreign secretary and armed forces chief-of-staff General Eduardo Ano would take the interior portfolio before his tenure ends in October.

Duterte made a strong defense of Margaux Justiniano Uson, an entertainer famous for her risqué moves, for blogging about sex advice and masturbation and for posting revealing photographs on social media.

RELATED: Facts about Rodrigo Duterte

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Duterte was born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte, Philippines.

(PHILIPPINES-DAVAO/MODEL REUTERS/Renato Lumawag)

Duterte became the mayor of Davao City in 1988, where he earned the nickname “The Punisher.” He served as mayor for 20 years, non-consecutively.

(PHILIPPINES-DAVAO/MODEL REUTERS/Renato Lumawag)

Duterte comes from a family of politicians. His father, Vicente Duterte, was the governor of unified Davao and a member of President Ferdinand Marcos' cabinet. His daughter, Sara Duterte, is currently the mayor of Davao City.

(REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

Rodrigo Duterte was elected the 16th president of the Philippines in May 2016.

(REUTERS/Czar Dancel)

Duterte once compared himself to Adolf Hitler, saying he would kill millions of drug addicts.

(REUTERS/Ezra Acayan)

Duterte has led a violent anti-drug crackdown, and more than 7,000 have reportedly been killed since he has taken office. 

(Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Duterte called President Barack Obama a “son of a wh**e.” He made the comments after Obama brought up concerns about human rights violations in 2016. Duterte later apologized for the comment.

(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Weeks before being sworn in as president, Duterte fueled an already hostile environment for journalists when he said, "Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a b****." 

(REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

In 2015, Duterte vowed to execute 100,000 criminals and dump their bodies into Manila Bay. 

(REUTERS/Czar Dancel)

Duterte cursed Pope Francis over traffic that was generated by his visit. 

"We were affected by the traffic," Duterte said. "It took us five hours. I asked why, they said it was closed. I asked who is coming. They answered, the Pope. I wanted to call him: 'Pope, son of a wh**e, go home. Do not visit us again'."

He later apologized. 

(PHILIPPINES - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Duterte came under fire in April 2016 after he made a joke about a missionary who was gang raped and murdered during a prison riot in 1989. “But she was so beautiful,” Duterte said. “I thought the mayor should have been first.” 

(REUTERS/Harley Palangchao)

A witness testified in Sept. 2016, claiming he was a member of Duterte's alleged "Davao Death Squad," and that the Filipino president gave orders to kill drug dealers, drug users and others who may violate the law. 

(Photo credit should read Ezra Acayan / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

In December of 2016, Duterte said President Donald Trump endorses his violent and deadly campaign against drugs after a brief phone call. 

(REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

Congressman Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte in March 2017, claiming he is guilty of crimes against humanity and murder.

(REUTERS/Erik De Castro TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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She was appointed assistant presidential communications secretary, a decision Duterte said was his entirely, as a reward for supporting his election campaign.

"She is bright, is articulate. And if it's just a matter of dancing, she was not dancing naked," he told a news conference.

"During the campaign, (she was) a little bit sexier than the other, but that does not (allow) anybody to deprive her of the honor that she deserves."

SEE ALSO: Trump hit with backlash after inviting Philippine leader Duterte to the White House

The appointment of Uson, a Filipino celebrity known as "Mocha", may be a source of friction among the press that she will have to work within her new role.

A diehard Duterte apologist, Uson has a frosty relationship with journalists, calling them "presstitutes" and lashing out frequently on Facebook about "fake news" she considers biased against the maverick leader.

Duterte said he had no hesitation in appointing Uson, who has a Facebook following of nearly five million people.

"There's no law that says if you expose half of your body, with shorts and bra, you are disqualified," he said.

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Inmates wait to be taken from Quezon City Jail to court hearings in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A guard points at inmates gathered at the basketball court for a head count before going to sleep at Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates sleep at Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates dance during routine morning exercise at the court inside Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A religious picture is placed next to a microphone and sound system at the chapel of Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates watch a movie at Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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An inmate covers his head as he passes the time inside Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates are handcuffed to each other as guards take them from Quezon City Jail to court hearings in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates sleep inside Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Inmates sleep inside Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Inmates are handcuffed to each other as they are brought back from hearings to Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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An inmate who is about to be released wears a wristband with the name of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines late October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj SEARCH "DAMIR PRISON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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"Check Facebook and she can have a very structured mind. So what's the problem?"

Duterte delivered the news when a reporter asked him about filling two Cabinet posts currently held by caretakers. He told his top general to step forward.

"You are now facing the next interior and local government secretary," Duterte said.

Ano was an infantry division commander in Davao when Duterte was the city's mayor. He said he needed Ano as interior minister because the Philippines has a problem with rogue police and Islamic State-linked militants.

Ano would be the second army chief Duterte has picked this week to join his cabinet. Roy Cimatu, who also served in Davao, was appointed environment minister on Monday.

"There's one more vacancy. I will add another military, then the junta is complete," Duterte joked.

Cayetano's appointment was widely expected. He was one of Duterte's top campaign donors and takes the foreign affairs portfolio after the expiry of a one-year ban on losing candidates from taking government posts.

He ran on Duterte's ticket for the vice presidency, a position elected separately to the president, and has worked closely with Duterte as a foreign policy adviser in his administration.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty)

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