MANILA—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has more than enough qualified officers to succeed Gen. Eduardo Año as chief-of-staff when he retires and assumes the post of interior secretary, its spokesman has said.
“The AFP will not run out of competent and professional commanders who are ready to take the lead and the reins of command of the AFP,” chief of the military’s public affairs office, Col. Edgard Arevalo, said in a message Wednesday.
Shortly before leaving for Cambodia on Wednesday to attend the World Economic Forum, President Rodrigo Duterte named Año as the new secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Gen. Año’s worthy successor will in due time be endorsed to the Commander-in-Chief by the AFP Board of Generals,” Arevalo said.
He noted that relief and designation, just like promotions in rank and position, are inherent in an institution as dynamic and well-established as the AFP.
Año has expressed surprise over the Chief Executive’s announcement.
“I will do my best to contribute but I was really surprised (with the announcement),” he said.
The AFP chief said he was aware of plans to give him a ranking government post upon his retirement this October but did not expect it to be the DILG portfolio.
His assumption date “is dependent on Code 1 (President Duterte)”, he disclosed.
However, with the announcement, the AFP chief said he might have to retire early to prepare himself for his new job.
Año’s scheduled retirement date is on October 26.