Concern raised on short-term AFP leadership
MANILA, Philippines — Two members of the Commission on Appointments on Wednesday expressed concern over President Rodrigo Duterte’s “revolving door” policy of appointing Armed Forces of the Philippines chiefs of staff for just a few months.
At the unanimous confirmation of Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. as AFP chief, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he was “not questioning the authority and prerogative of the President,” but noted that Duterte has named seven AFP chiefs since June 30, 2016, when he took office.
Santos of Philippine Military Academy Class ’86 acknowledged the “disadvantages” of having a short-term leadership in the military, but said a “system” was already in place so that “everything goes well … whoever sits (at the helm).”
The Army intelligence officer known for his role in the anti-insurgency campaign is set to retire on Aug. 3. He was named AFP chief on Jan. 5.
Asked by Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Sato if he could still implement policies his predecessor had introduced just a few months ago, Santos said existing policies in the military were designed “to move forward … so whoever is (designated AFP chief) will be able to (carry out his duties).”
Sato, however, said that occupying the top AFP post for just a short period was hardly enough time for any official to leave a lasting mark on the military organization.
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