MANILA, Philippines — Incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista said Wednesday that he was “humbled” to have been chosen to lead the military.
“I am humbled by my selection as the AFP Chief of Staff. I thank the appointing authority, H.E. President Benigno S Aquino III, DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and outgoing Chief of Staff AFP, General Jessie Dellosa,” he said in a statement.
Bautista, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981, will replace incumbent Jessie Dellosa, who is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56, in turnover rites at Camp Aguinaldo this Thursday.
Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz was reported to have been Bautista’s closest rival for the top military post.
Other contenders were Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes and Southern Luzon Command chief Major General Alan Luga.
“I can only repay this trust and confidence by devoting the remaining days of my career in the service to our people and the performance of the AFP’s mandate,” Bautista added.
He will retire in July 2014.