President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. to replace outgoing Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. who is set to retire on 12 December 2018.
In a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Wednesday, Mr. Duterte said he had approved the designation of Lt. Gen. Madrigal as the 50th AFP chief of staff in accordance with the recommendation of Galvez, who is also the chairman of the AFP Board of Generals.
“Dear Secretary Lorenzana: I wish to inform you that per your letter-endorsement and in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chairman, AFP Board of Generals, pursuant to Republic Act 8186, as amended by Republic Act 9188, the designation of Lieutenant General Benjamin R. Madrigal Junior 0-9288 Armed Forces of the Philippines as Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines vice Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. 0-9267 AFP is hereby approved effective December 12, 2018,” the letter read.
Madrigal is a “mistah” of Galvez in the Philippine Military Academy’s Sandiwa Class of 1985.
Last 13 November, Galvez himself confirmed that Madrigal is among those being eyed as his successor.
He likewise lauded the EastMinCom’s list of accomplishments, particularly the significant reduction of the strength of the communist groups within its area of jurisdiction under Madrigal’s watch.
Malacanang, however, did not give any official comment about Madrigal’s appointment to the military’s highest position.
What presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo bared is President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to appoint Galvez as a member of his Cabinet once he is done with his military duties.
“The President announced his intention to appoint General Carlito Galvez Jr. to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP),” the Palace official told reporters in a text message.
To recall, Galvez has offered his services to then OPAPP chief Jesus Dureza, saying he would like to continue being a part of the peace negotiations even after his retirement from the military.
Dureza tendered his voluntary resignation as OPAPP head last week after two of his undersecretaries were sacked by Mr. Duterte over allegations of corruption.