THE current Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) chief, Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., will replace retiring Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr., Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday, December 5.
Galvez is set to retire on December 12, when he turns 56, the mandatory retirement age for military officers.
AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said he cannot confirm yet Año’s statement.
“I cannot confirm. Let’s await a formal announcement,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, the commander in chief, will make the announcement.
Madrigal assumed as the EastMinCom chief, based in Davao City, in November 2017, amid the government’s intensified campaign against insurgency.
He was one of the contenders for the AFP chief of staff post in April.
Madrigal and Galvez were both members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sandiwa class of 1985.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Madrigal was among the top choices for the said post.
“Because he is the most senior, he is number one on the list of recommendees,” he said.
He said there were at least three names submitted to Duterte.
“Suffice it to say, he (next chief of staff) will come from the Philippine Army,” Lorenzana added. (SunStar Philippines)