Monday, January 30, 2012

AFP chief relieves over 20 officers in finance, logistics posts

MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa has relieved more than 20 officers who had occupied finance and logistics-related posts for more than three years.

Military sources told The STAR the reassignment of the officers is ongoing, with about 10 of them already occupying new positions.

“At least 25 of them have been relieved,” the source revealed yesterday.

Dellosa confirmed the reassignment in an interview, saying this was intended to enhance the capabilities and flexibility of officers.

“This (reassignment) is for the advancement of their career,” he said.

This developed as two Army generals were given new assignments in the latest leadership change implemented by the AFP.

Former AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. has been named commander of the Army’s 3rd Division based in Capiz.

Mabanta will replace Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who has been appointed chief of the 80,000-strong Army.

Mabanta’s new assignment came only less than two months after he was appointed 7th Division commander.

Mabanta welcomed the designation and vowed to address the security threats in Western Visayas, the 3rd Division’s area of responsibility.

AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said there is nothing unusual with Mabanta’s short stint as 7th Division chief. He said leadership changes are common in the military.

A source, however, said another reason for the personnel movement is that these officers had stayed too long in their posts.

Some of them reportedly performed finance and logistics-related tasks for as long as seven years.

“If you care about your career, you would want to be transferred (to another office) after two or three years,” the official said.

The official believes the reassignment sought to promote transparency, noting that the affected officers were handling financial matters.

The official, however, declined to identify the more than 20 finance and logistics officers covered by the reassignment.

But sources revealed that the rank of these officers ranges from first lieutenant to lieutenant colonel.

The relieved officers used to be assigned at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Sources said soldiers from the field had welcomed Dellosa’s move and had even encouraged him to continue his reforms.

The length of stay in a sensitive post became an issue during the height of the AFP corruption scandal last year.

Divina Cabrera, former resident auditor of the Intelligence Service, has been accused of benefiting from the alleged mishandling of AFP funds.

Cabrera was resident auditor of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) for more than 13 years from 1991 to 2005.

Cabrera’s stint in ISAFP was way longer than the three-year tenure for each auditor assigned in national government agencies. The three-year limit was meant to preserve the independence of auditors.
By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star
January 30, 2012 12:00 AM

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