Outgoing Air Force chief to be offered new assignment — Lorenzana
MANILA, Philippines — Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. would be offered a new position at the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
Kintanar, who is 13 months away from his actual retirement date, was recently replaced by President Rodrigo Duterte. But the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said this sudden change was only part of the ongoing movement in the top military posts.
“It’s a movement, either ang iniisip nila umakyat sa GHQ (General Headquarters). Pinag uusapan pa,” Lorenzana told reporters in an ambush interview on Friday.
“Everybody can optionally retire but he is being offered another position at GHQ,” he added.
Kintanar’s replacement doused speculations on social media that he was forced to retire early in connection with the ongoing modernization program of the Air Force, which the defense chief also dismissed.
“That is not true. Hindi ko na binabasa. I don’t want to dignify these people,” Lorenzana said.
“‘Yung helicopter projects di pa napipirmahan. Pag-uusapan pa ng senior leaders, DND (Department of National Defense). We will have the final approval. Ako ang presiding dun eh,” he said.
On Wednesday, Lorenzana told INQUIRER.net that Kintanar would retire early but offered no explanation. At a separate briefing on Thursday, Defense spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong also merely told reporters that the Air Force chief “opted for an early retirement.”
AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday Kintanar previously entered into “gentleman’s agreement” that would allow junior officers to have a chance to move up the hierarchy.
“It’s to give way for the junior officers. That’s how professional and dynamic the organization is,” he said.
Western Command chief Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez will replace Kintanar.
“Si Lt. Gen. Briguez ay competent officer. Siguro ang tingin sa taas he should also be given a chance to become CGPAF (commanding general of Philippine Air Force),” Lorenzana said, adding that it was a prerogative of the President to pick an Air Force chief.
Both Kintanar and Briguez are scheduled to retire in January 2020. /kga
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