Duterte replaces PH Air Force chief ahead of retirement
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lieutenant General Galileo Kintanar Jr is being replaced even before his scheduled retirement in 2020.
President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Lieutenant General Rozzano Briguez as the PAF's new commanding general.
Malacañang released Briguez's designation papers on Thursday, December 6. Duterte signed them on Wednesday, December 5. Briguez's appointment took effect that day.
But Kintanar is set to retire in 2020 yet and had only led the PAF for a year and one month.
Asked to explain the early replacement of Kintanar, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs head Colonel Noel Detoyato said on Thurdsay that the change is "for the professional growth of the whole organization."
He emphasized that corruption allegations had nothing to do with Kintanar's early departure.
"No, he is not relieved for corruption. It's just to give way for the junior officers. That's how professional and dynamic the organization is," said Detoyato.
He said the early replacement of PAF chiefs has happened before and denied that replacing Kintanar 13 months before his retirement is out of the ordinary.
New PAF chief
Briguez, the new PAF chief, was described by Detoyato as a highly-regarded officer and "one of the intellectuals" of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986.
This is the same class as Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Macairog Alberto. Alberto had also been among the candidates for AFP chief of staff.
Like Kintanar, Briguez was chief of the Western Command based in Palawan, the unit responsible for protecting the country's territories in the West Philippine Sea. – Rappler.com