Arroyo’s favorite is new AFP chief

DateLine Philippines

Army chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit will be named as the new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in early March, military sources said Saturday.

Bangit is replacing General Victor Ibrado who will retire from the military service on March 10 upon turning 56, the mandatory retirement age for military and police personnel.

“His appointment as AFP chief of staff is already done, he is the anointed one and that is not a secret,” said an Army official who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Another military official said there’s no secret that Bangit will get the post considering his closeness with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“What can you expect? He is the most trusted General of the President,” another AFP official said.

But Bangit declined to comment on his impending appointment as AFP chief.

“No comment. Nakakahiya naman sa kanya at wala pang announcement. Hindi pa tayo sigurado diyan [It is embarrassing to her (President Arroyo), there has been no announcement. It is not certain yet],” Bangit said.

A biography of Bangit posted on the Philippine Army website outlines his achievements.

Bangit is the 51st Commanding General, Philippine Army.

He hails from San Mateo, Rizal and is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Makatarungan” Class of 1978.

It is the same class that has adopted President Arroyo as “honorary member.”

Prior to his assumption as the Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Bangit was the Commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), Armed Forces of the Philippines from May 6,2008 to June 12, 2009.

His most recent positions of major responsibility include: commanding general, 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army from September 11, 2007 to May 6, 2008; chief, AFP Intelligence Service, from August 16, 2006 to September 5, 2007; group commander, Presidential Security Group from February 12, 2003 to September 11, 2007.

Bangit also served as chief of staff, Intelligence and Security Group, Philippine Army from May 16, 1997 to August 16, 1998; company commander, Alpha Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division, Philippine Army; assistant chief of staff for Intelligence (G2), 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army; area command staff for Intelligence, SOLCOM, AFP; battalion commander, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division, Philippine Army.

He is a graduate of the Command and Staff Course at the Australian Army Command and Staff College; Pre-Commander Course for Battalion Commander and Infantry Officer Advance Course, both taken at the Combat Arms School, Training Command, Philippine Army; Anti-Urban Terrorist Patrol Training at the Louisiana State Police Academy; and the Foreign Officer Tactical Intelligence Course at the School for Military Intel in Australia.

Bangit finished his Master of Defense Studies from the University of Canberra, Australia in 2000.

He is a recipient of five Distinguished Service Stars, three Bronze Cross Medals, Silver Wing Medal, 15 Military Merit Medals, Mindanao-Sulu, Visayas and Luzon Campaign Medals and Ribbons and a US Military Commendation Medal, among others.

Bangit is married to Daisy Magdangal – Bangit. They have three children, Harold, Diane, and Hector.

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