Marcos puts Centino back as AFP chief; Bacarro out
In a surprise move, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has reappointed Gen. Andres Centino as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In August last year, Marcos named Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro as his first AFP chief, replacing Centino who held the post from Nov. 12, 2021 (still under the Duterte administration) to Aug. 8, 2022. But on Friday, Press Undersecretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil announced that Marcos had again tapped Centino to head the military.
There was no immediate explanation from Malacañang for the replacement of Bacarro and the return of Centino, who would be retiring from the service this February.
Prior to being the AFP chief, Centino was the commanding general of the Philippine Army from May 14, 2021, to Dec. 10, 2021.
He previously served as commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, deputy chief of staff for operations (J3), and commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade.
A cum laude graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (Class of 1988), Centino also holds a master’s degree in business management from the University of the Philippines, a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, and a certificate from the Strategic Business Economic Program of the University of Asia and the Pacific. Citing his other credentials, Velicaria-Garafil said Centino “implemented four major thrusts within the (AFP) — operational efficiency, optimal use of resources, advancement of professionalism and meritocracy within the organization, and capability development.” Under his leadership, the AFP “successfully launched military campaigns” against communist rebels and local terrorist groups, she added.
Under Republic Act No. 11709, or “An Act Strengthening Professionalism and Promoting the Continuity of Policies and Modernization Initiatives in the Armed Forces of the Philippines” that took effect on July 1, 2022, the AFP chief serves a fixed, three-year term “unless sooner terminated by the President.”
In August last year, then Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles noted in a statement that “based on RA 11709, Gen. Bacarro will be the first (AFP chief) to be given a fixed three-year term.”