PBBM defends newly appointed chiefs of DND, AFP, NSA

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday vouched for the appointment of several retired generals to key positions in his Cabinet, including the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Speaking to the press en route to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), President 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,” President Marcos said.

On the reappointment of Gen. Andres Centino as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the chief executive said this is due to his administration’s move to “rationalize the seniority” of 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,” Marcos pointed.out.

“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 earlier served as the AFP chief of staff from Nov. 12, 2021, to Aug. 8, 2022, when he was replaced by Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro.

President Marcos also noted newly appointed DND Secretary Carlito Galvez’s track record in peace and security, a key factor for his appointment to the post.

“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).

“We’re asking him to make a short list for [OPAPRU]. Because we’re… especially now that the Bangsamoro is in transition… we’re redefining the relationship,” Marcos said. 

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