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4th star for new Armed Forces chief of staff

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista. Photo from AFP Public Affairs Office

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Wednesday received his fourth star, two weeks after he formally assumed the post from his predecessor, retired Gen. Jessie Dellosa.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin presided over Bautista’s donning of ranks held at the Department of National Defense.

“I am very honored and challenged to do my best in the performance of my duties and responsibilities as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This is my commitment to the Armed Forces and the Filipino people,” Bautista said.

Bautista, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class ’81, assumed his post last Jan. 17 in turnover ceremonies led by President Aquino as the Commander in Chief.

Bautista is largely credited for crafting the military’s counterinsurgency strategy called Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan, which has become a de facto National Security Strategy of the Aquino administration.

Bautista defended the IPSP Bayanihan from claims of militant groups that it was no different from Oplan Bantay Laya, the counterinsurgency campaign of the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Open to public

“This is the only military campaign plan that is open to the public… It is the people that will judge us, not them (militants). Let us ask our countrymen if they have not seen any changes in the military,” Bautista said.

Also on Wednesday, Gazmin appointed Col. Hermenegildo Aquino as his new senior military assistant, replacing Brig. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, who has been appointed commander of the Army’s 503rd Brigade in Abra province.

Gazmin also said that retired Maj. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario is currently an “understudy” of outgoing Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos.

“He (Del Rosario) is one of the candidates to take over Usec Ramos. The approval of his designation has not been put into place. Even if it goes beyond Feb. 1, if the President has not signed (the appointment papers), then (Ramos) will not leave yet. As soldiers would say, ‘I will quit my post only when properly relieved.’ (Ramos) will be properly relieved when the orders are signed,” Gazmin said.

‘Media darling’

Ramos, regarded as one of the most hardworking defense officials and a “media darling,” has resigned from the OCD and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) effective Feb. 1 to take care of his ailing wife. Reports from Nikko Dizon, PDI and Frances Mangosing, INQUIRER.net

Originally posted: 1:17 pm | Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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Tags: AFP , AFP chief of staff , Emmanuel Bautista , Four-star general , Government , Military , News

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