Armed Forces of the Philippines

LOOK: Andres Centino sworn in as 64th Philippine Army chief

Jairo Bolledo
LOOK: Andres Centino sworn in as 64th Philippine Army chief

64th ARMY CHIEF. Major General Andres Centino (R) officially takes over as the 64th Army chief during the change of command ceremony on May 18, 2021.

Department of National Defense

Centino says he will focus on recruiting more qualified applicants and modernizing the army

Newly installed Major General Andres Centino formally took over as the 64th commanding general of the 100,000-strong Philippine Army during the change of command ceremony in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, on Tuesday, May 18.

Centino replaced his “mistah” and classmate, Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr., whose appointment was questioned by the Commission on Appointments due to “unconstitutionality.”

Republic Act No. 8186 or the law that strengthens professionalism in the military states that no military officer shall be promoted to the level of chief or commanding officer if he/she has less than a year to serve. Faustino is set to retire in November.

DEFENSE HEADS. Outgoing Army chief Lieutenant General Jose Faustino (L) and incoming Army chief Major General Andres Centino (R), together with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the change of command ceremony.
Department of National Defense

During the ceremony, Centino said that as part of his thrust as the new commanding general, the army would recruit more qualified applicants and strengthen the concept of meritocracy or credential-based promotion among army officers. He added that he would continue modernizing the army by acquiring new military equipment.

ARMY LEADERS. Some heads of different army units attend the ceremony held in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Department of National Defense

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, meanwhile, said that Centino’s professionalism and successful fight against insurgency during his stint as the commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Northern Mindanao ensure that the army will perform well under his leadership.

“I’m not really surprised that he is now Army chief,” the defense secretary added.

TRANSFER OF SABER. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana officiates the transfer of saber, one of the symbols of the Philippine Army, from Lieutenant General Jose Faustino (L) to Major General Andres Centino (R).
Photo from the Department of National Defense

Centino is the seventh Army chief since Rodrigo Duterte was elected president in 2016. He is also the second member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988 to be appointed as Army chief after his predecessor Faustino.

If he would not be reassigned to other posts, Centino will serve as Army chief until his retirement in 2023. – Rappler.com

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.