DEPUTY Presidential Spokesperson Charito Planas said only President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo knows if the term of Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado would be extended.
Planas said only the President would know if she would extend the term of Ibrado, who is set to retire on March 10, and is turning 56 next week, the mandatory retirement age for members of the military, or appoint a succesor to replace him citing that she has her own short list for Ibrado's replacement.
"If you look at her body movement, she sets aside the parade of resignation of Chief of Staff right? So body language," she said referring to the postponement of scheduled testimonial parades for Ibrado like the one set by the Philippine Army Friday afternoon.
The event was cancelled Thursday afternoon, the same day that the President had a closed-door meeting in Malacanang with Ibrado and Army Commander Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit who was being floated as the next possible AFP Chief of Staff.
Planas said there had also been several recommendations to extend Ibrado's term which include calls from former military general turned senator, Rodolfo Biazon, as well as some members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
She acknowledged that while there is no state of emergency to warrant an extension of term, she cited that there had been other presidents who extended the term of outgoing AFP chiefs including Arroyo who previously lengthened the tours of duties of of then Generals Hermognes Esperon Jr., Roy Cimatu and Benjamin Defensor among others, from several weeks to months. (JMR/Sunnex