Armed Forces of the Philippines

LOOK: Military welcomes Andres Centino as AFP chief – again

Jairo Bolledo
LOOK: Military welcomes Andres Centino as AFP chief – again

AFP CHIEF. Reappointed military chief General Andres Centino receives the saber from Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin as a symbol of assuming the military's command during the change of command ceremony on January 7, 2022.

Armed Forces of the Philippines

Saturday's change of command ceremony is bizarre because Centino takes the command from Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, who replaced him five months ago

MANILA, Philippines – The military welcomed General Andres Centino as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the second time on Saturday, January 7 – a day after the Malacañang announced his reappointment as top soldier.

Saturday’s change of command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo, the military’s national headquarters, was bizarre because Centino took the command from Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, who replaced him five months ago. Bacarro, a Medal of Valor awardee, was named AFP chief by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in August 2022, replacing Centino.

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro (L) and Centino (R) during the transferring of saber ceremony facilitated by Bersamin. Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin led the ceremony. Centino already retook his oath before the President and commander-in-chief on Friday, January 6.

In his speech, Centino said there were “critical tasks” that needed to be done in the military: “As I take on the responsibility as chief of staff, I reiterate what I have focused on in the past to comply with the urgent tasks at hand. While significant gains have been achieved in our security campaigns, there remain critical tasks to be carried out that need to be fully complied.”

SALUTE. Bacarro and Centino give salute to Bersamin. Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines

Prior to his reappointment, Centino, considered as one of the top New People’s Army hunters in Mindanao, served as the commanding general of the Philippine Army from May to November 2021. Later on, he served as military chief from November 12, 2021 to August 8, 2022.

He was later appointed as the country’s ambassador to India shortly after Bacarro took over as top soldier.

SPEECH. Bacarro delivers his last message as the country’s top soldier. Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines

Centino is the 59th AFP chief of staff. He is also the first military chief expected to serve a fixed three-year term.

TOP OFFICIALS. Military’s top officials pose for a photo with Bersamin and Anton Lagdameo Jr., special assistant to the President. Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines

Meanwhile, Bacarro is set to retire from military service after the change of command ceremony. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

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