By Mario J Mallari
The Daily Tribune, Saturday, March 19, 2011
The military’s Board of Generals (BoG) has already submitted its recommendation to the Commander in Chief, President Aquino, for the appointment of the deputy chief of staff (TDCS) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines vacated by newly installed AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr.
Oban said that the BOG’s recommendation was submitted for the approval of the President.
“That would be dependent on the approval of the President. We already have recommended the full time deputy chief of staff and it will have to go through the process,” said Oban as he refused to reveal the names of those short-listed by the BOG.
Reliable sources, however, said that Navy Fleet commander Rear Admiral Luis Alano is among the strongest contender for the number three post of the AFP.
Alano is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1979 where Oban also belonged.
A battle-tested Navy officer Alano was appointed Navy Fleet commander late last year after serving to various command and administrative positions in the military. He led the successful Navy operation against a group of rogue Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels who sow terror in an island-town in Masbate also last year.
Meanwhile, AFP deputy chief of staff for operations or J3 Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista was tapped as acting TDCS while awaiting the President’s approval.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said that as the most senior J-staff, Bautista was named as acting TDCS.
“J3 (Bautista) has been designated acting TDCS while higher authorities are still in the process of formally designating one for the position. Selection of key positions in the AFP goes through a tedious process where merits, professional competence and service reputation are among the criteria,” said Mabanta.
Mabanta said that Bautista will remain acting TDCS until the President makes his choice for the AFP’s number three position.