Former AFP chief won’t replace Gazmin – Palace
MANILA, Philippines – Although former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Emmanuel Bautista has been assured of a position in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, it won’t be the secretary of defense position.
“No it is not true,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told Palace reporters Wednesday when asked if Bautista will be replacing Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
“Let’s just wait for the announcement,” the spokesperson added when pressed for more information.
He declined to say if it was a position in the President’s Cabinet.
Lacierda merely said that the government has given Bautista a month’s leave to spend time with his family.
“Let’s give him the luxury of spending his precious time before he enters the government,” he said.
Gazmin earlier denied rumors that his so-called protégé will soon be replacing him after he mentioned that he has gotten tired.
“My service depends on the President, I would continue to do what he says…If he says that I should resign, I would resign,” he said last month.
Bautista relinquished his post to Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang last July 18.
During the turnover ceremony, Aquino said Bautista told him that he was ready to return to public service after a month-long vacation.
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