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Duterte extends AFP chief’s term

By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte has extended the term of Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero by four months, Malacañang said yesterday.

Guerrero would have retired on Dec. 17 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 and less than two months after he assumed office last Oct. 26.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, extended Guerrero’s term until April 24, 2018.

“This is to announce that the Executive Secretary, by authority of the President, signed on Dec. 6 the extension of the service of Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero,” Roque said.

“AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Guerrero will reach his age of compulsory retirement on Dec. 17, 2017 and the President has extended his service to April 24, 2018 as per Republic Act No. 8186, or six months since he assumed office as AFP Chief of Staff,” he added.

The Commission on Appointments has confirmed the appointment of Guerrero along with the promotion of 40 other military officers.

Guerrero assumed the top post in the AFP days after the military announced that it is winding down its five-month offensive to free Marawi City from the Maute Group.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had expressed hope that Duterte would extend the term of Guerrero as the AFP chief will accomplish nothing given his original limited tenure. “Ano naman magagawa ni Gen. Guerrero sa two months, ‘di ba?” Lorenzana said.

“The President has the prerogative to extend the term of a retiring chief of staff. We still have martial law in Mindanao. That is a good reason for the President to extend whoever is the Chief-of-Staff,” he added.