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Air Force chief Rabena to retire any time this month


MANILA, Philippines - Anytime this month, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will have a new commander with the scheduled retirement of Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena.

Rabena was forced to bow out of the service ahead of his official retirement later this year, following his non-promotion to the next rank or designation to a higher position.

“He is retiring this January,” PAF spokesman Col. Miguel Okol said.

Okol however declined to say who will take over Rabena’s post, only saying, “we’ll keep you posted.”

Under the AFP attrition law, as in Rabena’s case, a three-star general is deemed separated from the service if he fails to get promoted to the next rank within three years.

He has been three-star general for the last three years without getting promoted to higher position or designation, thus leaving him with no choice but to exit from the military.

His early retirement this month is expected to trigger a major revamp in the air force, as the officer who would be designated as his replacement will also have to leave or vacate his present assignment or designation.

Rabena had a good chance of becoming the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) then, but his being a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978 has become a liability for him after President Aquino assumed office.

Aside from him, the military careers of several of his equally qualified and highly capable mistahs, were also sidelined when Aquino became president.

The first victim was then AFP chief, retired Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit and later followed by then Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief, retired Lt. Gen. Romeo Prestoza and also now retired Vice Admiral Feliciano Angue.

PMA Class 1978 adopted former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as its class honorary member.
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By Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) Updated January 01, 2012 12:00 AM
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