AFP: Air Force chief to step down to give subordinates chance to serve
MANILA, Philippines — Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. will bow out from his post to give a chance for his subordinates to serve, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Thursday.
In a press briefing, AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Kintanar entered into a “gentleman’s agreement” before he assumed his post in October last year — an understanding that would let him give way to junior officers eventually.
Detoyato also denied reports that Kintanar was sacked from his position due to resistance to alleged corruption in the helicopter acquisition projects of the Air Force.
“He is not relieved for corruption. It’s just to give way for the junior officers. That’s how professional and dynamic the organization is,” Detoyato said. “There is no issue of corruption whatsoever, it is for the professional growth of the whole organization.”
Maxdefense Philippines, a leading Facebook page for local defense enthusiasts, insinuated in a social media post that Kintanar was relieved from his position for reasons similar to the relief of then Navy chief Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, who was removed from his position four months from his original retirement date.
Mercado then insisted for the Navy technical working group’s specifications for the frigate acquisition project, which prompted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to relieve him from his post due to insubordination.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the designation of Western Command chief Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez as the incoming Air Force commanding general.
“The junior officers have to go up, so the dynamism of the AFP organization is if the junior officers have to go up, the older ones have to give way,” Detoyato said.
Lorenzana earlier told INQUIRER.net that Kintanar, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 in Jan. 2020, has already opted to retire from military service.
Kintanar, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985, is one year ahead of Briguez in the military school. The latter is also scheduled to retired by Jan. 2020. /muf
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