Army chief retires next week


Army Chief Lieutenant General Arturo Ortiz retires next week in the midst of the anticipated launch of a military operation in Basilan against the so-called “lawless elements” being coddled by the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, who had ambushed and killed 19 Special Forces troops and wounded 14 others last October 18.

Ortiz, the highest ranking surviving recipient of the military’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on November 13. He has reportedly asked  to step down a few days earlier.

Ortiz, who used to be part of the elite Special Forces commando unit, was the head of the Special Operations Command when he was appointed Army chief in July 2010 by then newly installed President Benigno Aquino III.

Two classmates of Ortiz in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1979 are the leading contenders to succeed him as head of the more than 70,000-strong Army.

These are Lieutenant General Anthony Alcantara, currently the third highest official in the Armed Forces as deputy chief of staff, and Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa, who currently heads the Northern Luzon Command.

Nine two-star generals were also considered for the post by the Board of Generals, which is composed of the highest officials in the military.

They are 9th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Josue Gaverza (PMA Class 1978); Inspector General Maj. Gen. Irineo Espino; Deputy Chief of Staff for communications Maj. Gen. Elmir de la Cruz; 2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Romulo Bambao; PMA Superintendent Maj. Gen. Nonato Peralta (all from PMA Class 1979); 10th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia and 1st Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Noel Caballes (both of PMA Class 1980); and 3rd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Baustista and Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., deputy chief of staff for operations (both PMA Class 1981).

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Colonel Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said the 11 contenders all have at least one year remaining in the service.

The Board of Generals has already submitted its short list of candidates from which the President will choose the next Army chief, he said.

Burgos did not say how many candidates are in the short list.

AFP Chief General Eduardo Oban Jr., who also belongs to PMA Class 1979, is set to step down on December 9.

Meanwhile, the AFP announced also on Wednesday that Dellosa and Mabanta were among the 15 senior military officers promoted by the President effective October 15.

One of those promoted was the deputy chief of staff for civil military operations, Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez, who is now a rear admiral.

Rodriguez served as military spokesperson until August of this year when he was investigated—but eventually cleared—after a member of his staff, Major Christopher Patindol, went absent without leave  after allegedly taking P1.15 million from a supplier.

Even though he has been cleared, Rodriguez did not resume his role as the AFP spokesperson.

Patindol meanwhile remains missing. With Frances Mangosing,

Originally posted: 7:54 pm | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    the earlier the better… syempre ksama n riyan ung pabaon.

  • Jim De Garman

    kaya nag early retirement si Gen. Arturo Ortiz dahil taliwas sa inaakala niya ang patakaran ng commander in chief.  Namatayan na nga ng 19 army soldiers sa ambush pinagalitan at tinanggal pa ang spokesman.

  • Anonymous

    He is not happy with what is going on.

  • AJS

    Dahil siguro alam niya na wala muna siya makukuhang PABAON. Mainit pa kasi ang isyo. Or baka naman nakuha na niya ng maaga ang tinatawag na PABAON

  • Anonymous

    Good strategy.

    I hope he did not steal lots of money from the military coffers.

    The way trends are in the AFP, he should be under watchful eyes of scrutiny. 

    He should start returning funds if he did steal some, to have a better and less stressful retirement life.  

  • gemjunxx

    Congratulations to Gen. Ortiz for finally recognizing that the man he is serving as his commander-in-chief is incompetent and more inclined to the insurgents and disregarding the plight of our brave soldiers who are giving their life for the country. Soldiers receive only meager salary of which it is not even enough for the food of his family and yet his commander-in-chief is using millions if not billions of tax payer’s money to reward those insurgents. I wish other generals would mirror their inner conscience and follow his steps and would not allow themselves to be just a  lapdogs.

  • Anonymous

    Is he going to retire now while the PABAON is still available?

  • Anonymous

    With all those fiascoes under your command, it is just right that you, General Ortiz, must take the blame by virtue of “command responsibility” and resign . Unfortunately, your “Commander in Chief”, does not want any part of the blame. The “onus” stops in your desk, head rolls off, and life goes on….fact of life!!

  • Anonymous

    ANO naman kaya ang MASASABI ng CBCP sa ulat na ito?  Mabuti ba, Masama, O.. OK lang?  Dapat bang magsaya, malungkot, O…pagsuspetsahan ang motibo? O, CBCP, it’s again one of those special moments when thy pronouncement is awaited with much bated breath….not bad…..but bated breath, ha.

  • Jeamergs

    kung patagalin pa niya malamang marami sa mga contenders ay hindi na aabot sa one year of service from the appointment date.

  • Anonymous

    In order for a leader to have full control of a country, he needs to take charge of three positions/posts and that is Finance/Monetary, Internal/home ( juridictions, courts, law enforcements) and  Defence/armed force. With these,three posts which either a leader take full charge or appoint his trusted asides to head. The rests will fall into place. 

  • Puerto Del Mar Beach Resort

    Lt. Gen Ortiz did the right thing to resign if President Aquino doesn’t trust his leadership command. To be a great leader, you make decisions that should be after the welfare of the men you handle and the calculated consequences and risk it would take if the mission or objective fails. That’s why during an active military career, you are owned by the government. Service to the country first , before anything else, even the family. The concentration to the job should be undivided. That’s why there’s a command responsibility. Whoever heads a planned target/objective, will get the laurels if its a success and will also get the ax if he fails.

  • Jackson

    yeah,  i would retire early.  save face.

  • Anonymous

    Napapagataka naman. Why do we have too many Generals if only we have more than 70,000 military personnel in the Army? Perhaps, 70,000 is only compose of four (4) Battalions but why so many? Too many chiefs not enough Indians!…

    • Anonymous

      @WAJ.  nakapagtataka nga pero baka naman ang bilang ay kung ilan ang sumusuweldo.  70K nga siguro ang talagang bilang pero kung isama mo yung ‘ghost’ soldiers, mahigit siguro 90K ang nasa payroll.

    • kiethmark

       What? 70,000 only composes 4 battalions? think again… or i would say, guess again…

  • Anonymous

    Good strategy.

    I hope he did not steal lots of money from the military coffers.

    The way trends are in the AFP, he should be under watchful eyes of scrutiny. 

    He should start returning funds if he did steal some, to have a better and less stressful retirement life.

  • Anonymous

    Headline: Army chief retires next week

    So what?

  • Anonymous

    Lt Gen Ortiz served as Army chief for one year and four months when he retires next week.  All the 11 contenders to succeed him will serve for 1 year before they themselves will retire at age 56.  This unsound practice does not do good to the AFP. For example, in one year Ortiz had barely ‘warmed-up’ his seat and ooops ‘sir your time is up – adios’. These about-to-retire officers will be just coasting and ‘do-nothing’.
    The Defense Committee of both House of Representatives and Senate should put a stop to this revolving-door-policy and enact a law extending the terms of the Chiefs of the three major services and that of the CS to 3 years and in their cases only disregarding the mandatory retirement at age 56. This way, they can institute and implement their own programs and necessary reforms that are needed by the AFP.

  • Anonymous

    Gen Ortiz is one of the most respected Army officers of his time. Di sya nasabit sa controversy at naging matatag sa kanyang mga paninindigan. Bonus na lang sa kanya ang pagiging medal of Valor Awardee. Para sa isang magiting na Mandirigma, My snappy salute SIR.

  • Anonymous

    “He has reportedly asked  to step down a few days earlier.” This news is more than meets the eye. Di na makayanan ni Gen. Ortiz and nangyari sa Scout Rangers na dating company niya. Good luck General, sir!

  • Brando Pascual

    Gen. Ortiz is not only good in combat, being a recipient of the Medal for Valor (not Medal of Valor), 4 Gold Cross Medals and other combat awards, but also very good in camp development. My soldier friend told me that Gen. Ortiz has transformed Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City from a camp of the 60’s to a world-class one. Officers and men of the Special Operations Command, the 7th Infantry Division and all other units there are living in comfort in their newly built living quarters complete with amenities. The camp my friend said is the most modern in the country and a lot more beautiful than Fort Bonifacio and Camp Aguinaldo.  Gen. Ortiz, accordingly, wanted that Fort Masgaysay will serve as the model camp for the whole Army.        

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