MANILA ( Associated Press) – The Philippines’ acting defense chief has submitted his resignation, officials said Monday. It is the most recent of the high-level changes reported in security affairs and has fueled speculation about a resumption of military unrest.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has accepted “with deep regret” the resignation of interim Defense Minister José Faustino Jr. and offered the position to Carlito Gálvez Jr., another retired general who has been involved in peace talks with rebel groups. Presidential spokesman Cheloy said Garafiel.
Gálvez accepted the offer, Garafiel said, without offering further details, including the reason for Faustino’s resignation, a former military chief.
On Saturday, Marcos cut short the term of chief of military staff, Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacaro, whom he had appointed just five months ago, and replaced him with a retired general, without explaining the unexpected move.
Faustino is a supporter of Bacarro and was his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy. Bakaro received the highest military award for gallantry in battle as a young army officer and his three-year term was to end in August 2025.
The appointment of military commanders is a sensitive issue. The Philippine military has a history of failed coup attempts and corruption scandals, and has faced allegations of human rights violations. Over the years, efforts have been made to professionalize the army and keep it away from the country’s traditionally chaotic and corrupt politics.
Lt. Gen. Andres Santino, the chief of military staff whom Bacaro had replaced in August last year, was reinstated by Marcos as the top of the 144,000-member armed forces. Santino, who was due to retire next month, was chosen from among a dozen high-ranking generals and will serve a new three-year term.