Saturday, May 15, 2010

Noynoy Aquino should make a Solomonic decision on AFP Chief of Staff's Fate

Current AFP Chief of Staff General Delfin Bangit says he's leaving his fate to the incoming president and Commander-in-Chief Benigno Aquino. Bangit, Mrs. Arroyo's tuta-de-ayuda, says its okey for him to be replaced by somebody, possibly General Ferrer. Ferrer, who was reported to have gone to Noynoy Aquino to complain about Bangit's appointment, is a member of PMA Class 1977 which was reported to have a "rift" with PMA Class 1978, Bangit's class. Members of Class 1977 were not appointed to sensitive posts, as what tradition says. Most sensitive posts are now being managed by Bangit's mistahs.

This is one issue that Noynoy should very carefully consider doing, for four (4) reasons:

First, Bangit's appointment was made within the Constitutionally mandated period. Unlike the CJ issue, the AFP C-S appointment was made legally. However, it is correct--the new Commander in Chief has the prerogative to replace him with someone he can trust.

Second, if Noynoy chooses to replace Bangit, this will be the very first time that someone did this. Nothing wrong except that some groups might misinterpret this in a wrong way.

Third, the C-S post is an extremely sensitive position, something which every PMA class struggles for. Noynoy has to make a Solomonic decision as soon as possible to avoid possible misinterpretations.

Lastly, if Noynoy will decide not to replace the current C-S, this might be used by certain groups to create destabilization, like what his mother underwent in her term. Aquino must however, tread this path very lightly because of its utmost sensitivity.

The Solomonic solution is this:

Noynoy has to talk with representatives of the two (2) classes, namely PMA Class 1977 and 1978 and explain to them what he intends to do.

The best solution is replace Bangit with the most senior AFP officer in rank, belonging to Class 1977. Let him finish his "tour of duty" and afterwards, appoint Bangit or any other military officer of PMA Class 1978 thereafter. That will correct the issue and will bring back the tradition in the military organization.