Duterte reviews list of candidates for next AFP chief

Published July 16, 2020, 3:24 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte believes that choosing the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a very important task as he should possess qualities that will benefit the country, Malacañang said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the troops during his visit to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu on July 13, 2020. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos, Jr. is set to retire on August 4 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

In his Thursday press briefing, Roque said President Duterte would go through all the recommendations for the position.

“The President considers as very important the appointment of the Chief-of-Staff,” he said.

“Qualities: Must be able to serve the Republic, must have competence, must have integrity, dapat hindi (should not be) corrupt, and must have shown a track record to serve the Republic,” he added.

According to AFP spokesperson Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, the Board of Generals has convened and assessed the shortlist of candidates.

He said the Department of National Defense (DND) had submitted the recommendation to Malacañang on the first week of July.

However, Arevalo said it was still up to the President if he would extend Santos’s term especially now that the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santos was named AFP chief-of-staff in January this year. He replaced Gen. Noel Clement who retired on January 4 after the latter led the AFP for three months.

Santos, the 53rd AFP chief, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986.