PNoy says ‘grumblings’ in AFP, PNP nothing new

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III yesterday dismissed reports of grumbling within the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), describing such as a “tradition” that can be expected to happen every time there is a change in leadership in the two institutions.

Aquino was in Camp Crame in Quezon City to preside over the turnover of the PNP from Director General Jesus Verzosa, who is retiring tomorrow, to Raul Bacalzo, Verzosa’s deputy for operations.

“Every change of command, whether it be in the AFP or in the PNP, there’s grumbling… it’s like a tradition already,” Aquino said in short press briefing with PNP and Malacañang reporters after the turnover cermony.

Although there have been no serious incidents of dissent in its ranks, the military has been stirred by waves of discontent ever since former AFP chief of staff Delfin Bangit opted to seek early retirement after President Aquino, even before assuming office, announced he would not retain Bangit as the military chief.

The only major show of discontent was by Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue, who publicly griped over being “demoted” and “humiliated” by what he called a “prostituted” military promotion after he was relieved as chief of the National Capital Region Command, a three-star post, and assigned to head Naval Forces Western Mindanao, a two-star position.

Angue’s transfer has since been suspended and he was placed on floating status while being investigated for possible insubordination.

However, there have been a number of anonymous “white papers” supposedly authored by “concerned” junior and mid-career officers criticizing the promotion system.

A number of officers have also approached media to air similar complaints, although none have yet dared to do so openly. Angue himself has since declined to comment regarding the white papers.

Just before the President announced Bacalzo as his choice to be the 16th chief of the PNP, a white paper also made the rounds of Camp Crame asking the President to change or reconsider his decision. Anthony Vargas


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