AFP musical chairs

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

An influential person was responsible for the ouster of Lt. Gen. Barolome Bacarro as AFP Chief of Staff, and Gen. Andres Centino replacing him.

President Digong Duterte appointed Centino. He was removed as AFP Chief of Staff when President Bongbong took over the country’s helm.

Junior appointed Bacarro as Chief of Staff to replace Centino.

However, the situation became an unusual game of musical chairs with Centino later replacing Bacarro.

With his comeback, Centino has become the beneficiary of a new law (Republic Act 11709) that provides for a three-year tenure for the AFP Chief of Staff.

Sources said Bacarro was appointed at the time Vic Rodriguez was executive secretary.

Many of the appointees to government posts under Rodriguez – among them Benny Antiporda as administrator of tbe National Irrigation Authority – have been replaced.

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This influential person supposedly also got Defense OIC Jose Faustino Jr. replaced by Carlito Galvez, according to a source.

Faustino was appointed defense chief during the time Vic Rodriguez was executive secretary.

That was why Faustino was blindsided when Centino replaced Bacarro.

Placing Faustino out of the loop in the unprecedented changing of the guard was a way of telling him he was no longer needed. Being an intelligent man, he read through the charade.

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Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has denied rumors he ordered his troops on heightened alert in the wake of alleged movements by some elements in the Armed Forces over the replacement of Bacarro by Centino.

Azurin said he wanted to know the source of the rumors.

He said the PNP goes on red alert yearly during the huge procession of the Black Nazarene image in Quiapo.

Azurin needs to answer these questions:

If there was no heightened alert, why were V-150 armored personnel carriers on standby in most police camps, especially at the one for the elite Special Action Force in Laguna?

What was the reason for setting up a checkpoint at the exit of TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan, La Union Expressway)? It was not done before.

Camp Aquino in Tarlac is the headquarters of the Army’s North Luzon Command.

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Army Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante has become the laughingstock of the menfolk in general and fellow graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), in particular, after a report that went viral said he beat up a woman, Yvonnette Chua Plaza, who was allegedly his girlfriend.

Plaza showed photos of herself having bruises on her face and busted lips posted on social media. She claimed Durante beat her up.

The pretty woman was later shot and killed by two gunmen while entering her house in Mintal, Davao City, making Durante a “person of interest” in the murder.

As I have always heard from Batangueño friends during drinking sessions years ago, “Ala eh, ang babae hindi sinasaktan, siya’y minamahal (A woman should never be hurt, she should be loved).”

To be “an officer and a gentleman” – with emphasis on the latter – is inculcated in every PMA cadet.

When they graduate from the academy, they’re expected to be like knights in shining armor, ready to help damsels in distress.

Most of my friends who are PMA graduates are ander de saya (henpecked husbands), because of what they’re taught at the academy.

Some wives of PMAers even abuse the tender loving care of their husbands towards them.

The wife of a Marine general would berate her husband in front of his subordinates. I was a witness to this unladylike behavior. An officer’s wife is called “an officer’s lady.”

The spouse of another Marine general had the habit of having her husband, then a brigade commander, wash her underwear in front of his men. No kidding!

My father, who was not a PMAer but was an officer of the “old school,” was beaten up by my Mom whenever she would catch him having an affair with other women. We never saw Dad retaliate against my jealous Mom.

*       *      *

Suspended Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag’s antics should make people realize he needs professional help.

Bantag’s latest action is to file murder charges against Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, BuCor officer-in-charge Gregorio Catapang Jr. and several New Bilibid Prisons inmates at the Office of the Ombudsman.

Bantag told the ombudsman that Remulla and Catapang masterminded the murder of broadcaster Percy Lapid.

Bantag, who took over the helm of the BuCor (while wielding two samurai swords and an Uzi machine pistol, no less), is the principal suspect in Lapid’s murder.

All fingers point to Bantag as the mastermind.

Surprisingly, the Office of the Ombudsman accepted Bantag’s case against Remulla and Catapang.

President Digong Duterte, who appointed him BuCor director-general, probably didn’t know about Bantag’s state of mental health.

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