Politics

More Philippine Defense officials quit 

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MORE senior officials of the Defense department have quit after Jose Faustino, Jr. resigned as secretary. 

At least seven more officials who held undersecretary and assistant secretary positions submitted their resignation letters to newly installed Defense Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., agency spokesman Arsenio R. Andolong told reporters on Tuesday. 

It is customary for coterminous officials like them to resign under a new leadership, he said. 

The latest resignations came after an unexpected change of command at the military with the reappointment of General Andres C. Centino as chief of staff. 

A few hours after the ceremony, reports of alleged “destabilization moves” by AFP members circulated on messaging apps and social media platforms. 

In a statement, Mr. Faustino said he resigned as Defense chief last week after learning “only from news and social media” that a new military chief had taken oath in Malacañang — something that the presidential palace denied. 

In a separate statement, the palace said Mr. Faustino was aware of the appointment of Mr. Centino. “The president as the commander-in-chief has the sole prerogative to appoint the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff,” the Presidential Communications Office said.  

The military establishment has become a “major political bloc” after a popular uprising in February 1986 toppled the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, father of the current Philippine president, Arjan P. Aguirre, who teaches political science, recently told BusinessWorld. 

“They have learned to politicize their role that’s why they have remained to be one of the stable sources of personnel who can be appointed to important government posts,” he said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza