Faustino: ‘I cannot allow AFP’s reputation to be tarnished, maligned, or politicized’
MANILA, Philippines — Resigned officer-in-charge of the Department of National Defense (DND) Jose Faustino Jr. on Tuesday said he decided to leave his post to protect the reputation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
In a statement issued a day after Malacañang announced that he has resigned and has named former AFP chief of staff Carlito Galvez Jr. as his replacement, Faustino explained that he “cannot allow the AFP’s reputation to be tarnished, maligned, or politicized.”
According to the retired military general, he submitted his “irrevocable letter of resignation” on January 6, only after learning about the swearing-in of a new AFP chief in Malacañang from the news and social media.
READ: Galvez is new defense chief as Faustino quits
“With the utmost respect, I submitted my irrevocable letter of resignation to the President, His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., on Friday, January 6, 2023, after learning only from news and social media reports that an oath of office of the new Chief of Staff, AFP had taken place at Malacañang,” said Faustino, who is also a former AFP chief of staff.
He praised the AFP as “an institution that is loved, trusted, and respected by the Filipino people” and that it is “an upright organization that is professional, highly capable, and committed to protecting our country and people from all threats, whether foreign or domestic.”
He lauded the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who give high regard to honor, service, and patriotism.
“[T]hese are the ideals that we live and die for, if need be.”
He said that through the years the AFP has changed into an institution that the Filipino people can trust, respect, and be proud of despite its ups and downs.
“Thus, fully cognizant of the selfless sacrifice and courage of our troops and civilian human resources, I cannot allow the AFP’s reputation to be tarnished, maligned, or politicized. I assure everyone that I will always hold the AFP in high esteem, which its men and women have painstakingly earned,” Faustino explained.
He did not provide any further details in his statement.
Faustino’s resignation followed the reappointment of Gen. Andres Centino as AFP chief, replacing Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro. Centino formally assumed office on Saturday, January 7.
READ: AFP chief Centino calls for unity among military personnel over tenure law
During the change-of-command ceremony, however, rumors of mass resignation in the DND circulated.
This rumor stemmed from an unverified memo purportedly issued by the Philippine National Police, placing the entire country under “full alert status”. The PNP has since disowned the document.
READ: PNP on heightened alert for Black Nazarene feast, not for alleged destab plot, says spox
‘Grateful, deeply indebted’
Still, Fausino thanked Marcos and the public for the opportunity to serve as DND officer-in-charge.
“I wish nothing but the best for our country, our people, and our President. It was an honor to have had the opportunity to serve the Filipino people in my former capacity as officer-in-charge of the DND. With all humility, I am grateful and deeply indebted to each and every one of you who helped us fulfill our mandate in the Defense Department over these past months,” he said.
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