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5:22 pm on 16 January 2023, Monday
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vouched for the appointment of several retired generals to the key positions in the Department of National Defense (DND), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Marcos cited newly appointed NSA Secretary Eduardo Año’s “long experience in intelligence.”
“Before he became Chief of Staff, before he became group commander, he was [with] ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines). So sanay na sanay ‘yun and he’s well-known, and he knows all of the operatives in the intelligence community,” Marcos said.
On the reappointment of General Andres Centino as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Marcos said this is due to the administration’s move to “rationalize the seniority” of its officials.
“Kasi nira-rationalize namin ‘yung seniority. Andy Centino has four stars and Bob Bacarro had three stars. So kailangan natin ayusin kasi magkakagulo doon sa baba,” he said
“So tiningnan namin, ‘What do you want us to do?’ Nagtanong kami sa military and I said ayusin namin ‘yung seniority and that’s what we’ve done,” the chief executive added.
Centino replaced Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro after five months.
Marcos likewise explained newly-appointed DND Secretary Carlito Galvez’s track record in peace and security, was a key factor for his appointment.
“Well, ‘yan isa pa. Very, very experienced, and in fact as soon as he took his oath, he was already… he knew already what to do. Nag-command conference na siya. So I think he’ll slide into that position really easily,” Marcos said.
The President said he also sought the former peace adviser’s assistance in picking the next head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU).