Retiring officer’s promotion causes grumblings in AFP

GRUMBLINGS among the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been reported following the promotion of a senior military officer despite having less than a year left in service.

A manifesto from “concerned AFP officers” has been circulating in Camp Aguinaldo questioning the promotion of Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) chief Gaudencio Pangilinan from major general to lieutenant general.

The manifesto said Pangilinan’s promotion to a three-star general came at the expense of Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue, the former commander of the AFP’s National Capital Regional Command (NCRCom).

“Many from the military organization were surprised with the recent promotion of Maj. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan from two-star to a three-star general,” the manifesto said.

It added: “They (military officers) believe it (Pangilinan’s promotion) qualifies for the Guinness (Book of) Records in terms of  the unusual haste and push behind his appointment.”

“For instance, Pangilinan was appointed to his position as Northern Luzon Commander (area command) despite his being junior than 10 senior Division Commanders awaiting appointment as Area Commander,” it said.

Before being named as Nolcom chief, Pangilinan, who belongs to PMA Class ’79, was the deputy chief of staff for operations (J3) and has yet to serve as division commander.

The manifesto also said: “AFP records will show that his designation as Nolcom chief was also rushed (Note:  this is similar to a midnight appointment) in mid-July in order to meet the deadline, which is 25 July 2010, his birthday.”

Under the AFP law, except for the military chief of staff, military officers that has less than a year left in the military service are not eligible for promotion to the next higher rank.

“Knowing his limitations, he was immediately recommended for promotion to three-star general by Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,  his sponsor at the defense department, so that again he will meet the deadline,” the manifesto said. Anthony Vargas

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