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.
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.”
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.
Centino is the 59th AFP chief of staff. He is also the first military chief expected to serve a fixed three-year term.
Meanwhile, Bacarro is set to retire from military service after the change of command ceremony. – Rappler.com