Bangit, Arroyo's favorite general, dies at 58
MANILA, Philippines – Retired Armed Forces chief of staff Delfin Bangit, the favorite general of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, died 5 pm on Friday, December 13, due to multiple organ failure. He was 58.
Bangit's health deteriorated for months since he came back from Japan early this year, according to one of his Philippine Military Academy (PMA) classmates. Doctors supposedly couldn't find the cause of his internal bleeding.
Bangit was closely associated with former President Arroyo, who appointed him chief of staff 4 months before she stepped down from Malacañang in 2010. He was a member of PMA Class 1978, which has Arroyo as one of its "adopted" classmates.
Bangit served as her aide when she was vice president. When Arroyo became president, Bangit served as commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and Army chief before he took the top military post.
As ISAFP chief, he was accused of masterminding the abduction of activist Jonas Burgos. A teary-eyed Bangit met with Mrs Edita Burgos. He denied any involvement.
After his appointment as AFP chief in March 2010, allies of then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III accused Bangit of setting the stage for a failure of elections to allow Arroyo to stay in power. Members of the Catholic church hierarchy met with him several times to discuss the elections.
He proved the doomsayers wrong. Aquino won the presidency by a landslide in a relatively peaceful and clean elections.
Bangit was supposed to serve as chief of staff until July 2011, and he thought that the military's handling of the May 2010 elections would allow him to keep his term despite his Arroyo ties.
He went to the extent of freeing an Aquino ally, ex-Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, who ran from detention but lost a senatorial bid under the Aquino-Roxas ticket.
Aquino however felt he had to go. Bangit initially resisted the idea and at one point held a press conference to accuse the Aquino camp of dragging the military into politics.
He eventually caved in, opting for early retirement in June 2010. – Rappler.com