No term extension for AFP chief â DND
Clement, who assumed the top AFP post in late September, will bow out of military service on Jan. 5, upon reaching the military retirement age of 56 years.
STAR/File
No term extension for AFP chief — DND
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Newly designated Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Noel Clement’s term will not be extended, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.

Clement, who assumed the top AFP post in late September, will bow out of military service on Jan. 5, upon reaching the military retirement age of 56 years.

“No. The President has decided to not extend anymore,” Lorenzana said in reference to the tour of duty of Clement as AFP chief for more just more than three months.

The defense chief added that unlike former AFP chief and now Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, there is no compelling reason for Clement’s term to be extended.

As then AFP chief, Año’s term was not actually extended as it was about to be cut short following his designation by President Duterte as acting secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) when Duterte fired Ismael Sueño in April 2017 over corruption allegations.

When the Marawi siege broke out a little over a month later, Duterte ordered Año to stay put as AFP chief and only assumed as acting DILG secretary following his mandatory retirement from the service.

Año’s post was later passed on to current Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, whose term as AFP chief was extended by the President.

While Lorenzana remains silent on the possible replacement of Clement, Camp Aguinaldo insiders bared that three strong contenders are now vying for the top AFP post.

While all three star-generals are qualified to be the next the AFP chief, sources said the race for the top AFP post has been narrowed down among Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana and newly designated Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay.

Except for Sobejana, who is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1987, both Santos and Gapay belong to the PMA class of 1986.

Guilt feelings

Although Duterte did not confront him for “stumbling” on the appointment of former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde, Sen. Bato dela Rosa admitted feeling guilty for endorsing his mistah, who had to retire early amid accusations of his inactions against suspected ninja cops.

Dela Rosa said he would not make any endorsement again as he expressed belief that the President chose Albayalde to replace him as PNP chief in April 2018, primarily due to his personal endorsement. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

 

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