3 names turn up as ‘strongest candidates’ for new AFP chief – Lorenzana
At least three names are being considered to replace Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has revealed.
“There are several candidates for that. One is [Lt. Gen. Benjamin] Madrigal of Eastern Mindanao Command and [Lt. Gen. Carlito] Galvez of Western Mindanao Command. They are the strongest candidates there,” Lorenzana told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Tuesday.
Madrigal commands the Eastmincom based in Davao, the bailiwick of President Rodrigo Duterte. Galvez, meanwhile, was one of the generals who had a key role during the Marawi City siege, the country’s longest urban conflict in recent years.
Guerrero will retire as AFP chief on April 24 after Mr. Duterte extended his term from December 17, his birthday. The military has a mandatory retirement age of 56.
In January, Duterte said he will appoint Guerrero to lead the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) after he retires.
In a text message to reporters on Wednesday, Lorenzana said Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista is also being considered for the top military post.
Bautista was tasked to head the Presidential Security Group after Duterte won the presidential elections in 2016. He also served as overall ground commander during the Marawi City siege before he rose through the ranks to become the Philippine Army chief.
All three generals are members of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985.
“The Board of Generals will submit five names to the President through the SND [Secretary of National Defense]. The President will (then) pick his choice,” Lorenzana said.
“Kasama lahat ng three stars,” he added, referring to officers with a rank of Lieutenant General.
“All of the (three-star generals) are all qualified, I know them all and I am sure whoever will be chosen will do a good job,” he also said. /kga
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