CA confirms promotion of AFP general set to retire next year

Published May 17, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Mario Casayuran

The powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) on Monday, May 17, confirmed the promotion of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Brigadier General Henry Dayaoen as Major General.

Dayaoen’s confirmation appeared to have been rushed because he could no longer be legally promoted less than a year before his retirement on May 17, 2022.

The CA usually goes into plenary session on Wednesdays to confirm or bypass a presidential nominee or appointee.

Dayaoen’s confirmation was made during the CA’s plenary session presided by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, concurrent CA chairman.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense committee, seconded the motion to confirm Dayaoen’s promotion made during a hearing by the CA national defense committee.

In a statement, Lacson said: ‘’Exactly one year from today or on 17 May 2022, Brigadier General Doyaoen is due for compulsory retirement in accordance with Presidential Decrees 1638 and 1650.’’

‘’Any delay in the confirmation of his nomination later than today would disqualify him from being promoted to the next high rank of Major General, in so far as the provision of Section 4, Republic Act 8186 is concerned, which states that — let me quote for the record, ‘except for the Chief of Staff of the AFP, no officer shall be assigned/designated to the aforementioned position’ — the word aforementioned hereby refers to the positions of Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and major service commanders — ‘or promoted to the rank of Brigadier General/Commodore or higher if he has less than one year of active service remaining prior to compulsory retirement’,’’ Lacson explained.

Both Lacson and Dayaoen hail from Cavite province.

Lacson said there is no doubt in his mind that Doyaoen, a decorated and battle-seasoned military officer for 33 long years, has exemplified competence and commitment to duty worthy of the AFP’s higher echelon of command.

‘’In my 17 long years as a senator and a good number of years as a member of the CA, I cannot quite remember this body convening on the first day of the resumption of our congressional sessions for the sole purpose of deliberating on the confirmation of one single officer of the AFP. That credit goes to the chairman of the Committee on National Defense, Honorable (Representative) Luis “Jon-jon” Ferrer IV, and the members of the committee, for this unprecedented move,’’ he pointed out.

Lacson said President Duterte, commander-in-chief of all armed forces, has accorded the CA the same respect and high regard in designating Maj. Gen. Andres Centino last May 14 as the new Commanding General of the Philippine Army to replace Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr.

He recalled that last March during the hearing of this same committee to confirm now four-star General Cirilito Sobejana, AFP chief of staff, he strongly disputed the designation of Lt. General Faustino as acting commanding general of the PA, one of the three major service commands of the AFP, ‘’as it was a clear transgression of the law.’’

“I was also forthright in saying that Lt. Gen. Faustino may have been the most competent officer to take over the reins of the 100,000-strong Philippine Army. His merits notwithstanding, unfortunately, he is not eligible to head a major service command of the AFP as he has less than one year of active service remaining before reaching the age of compulsory retirement,’’ he said.

Lacson thus thanked President Duterte for rectifying an oversight in the recent designation of Lt. Gen. Faustino as acting Commanding General of the Philippine Army in violation of RA 8186 as amended by RA 9188.

‘’This appreciation extends to Executive Secretary Salvador ‘Bingbong’ Medialdea, who personally relayed to me last Friday the concurrence of the President to this body’s strong and unwavering position to uphold the rule of law,’’ he added.