MANILA — Malacanang said on Tuesday there is nothing worrisome about the change in military leadership amid the Philippines and China’s sea dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. raised the issue in reaction to the upcoming retirement of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista whose term ends on July 20.
Coloma noted that the term of the AFP chief expires on the 56th birthday of the occupant of the position.
“We can assure that the basis of selection will be the most skilled and capable to fulfill the duties of Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, given the present challenges and realities,” Coloma said.
“So we can assure that during the selection of the next chief, these will be the criterion of the President: who is the most capable officer who can lead the Armed Forces in this time of challenge and opportunity,” he added.
Coloma explained that what is most important is reinforcing the whole institution.
“When we speak of institutional capability, it also means raising the standards of capability and performance of the entire officer corps, as well as the men and women in uniform,” he said.
“We are aware that there is a modernization program where significant sums are being invested to improve and upgrade the capability of each of the major services and this is a way of strengthening the institutions of the Armed Forces,” he added.