2 contenders for AFP chief?

Posted at 11/18/12 7:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Armed Force of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa already has someone in mind as to the officer he would be recommending as his replacement.

While he would not name the official, there are currently two contenders to the post: Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista and Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz.

"I already have (a choice) but I will not say it (to media),” he said.

Talks point to a two-way contest between Bautista and dela Cruz. Bautista, a member of PMA class of 1981, is more senior in rank than dela Cruz of PMA class of 1980.

Dellosa, who will reach the mandatory age of retirement in two months’ time, said the name of the new AFP chief will be announced a week before he or she assumes the post. He said, however, it would be better if the new AFP chief will be known earlier so they can discuss programs that need to be continued.

He said the Board of Generals will not anymore give recommendations for his replacement. "The secretary of national defense, the President and myself, we'll just be the ones who will talk about this,” he said.

“Actually, when selecting a chief of staff, this does not go through the Board of Generals because all the members of the Board of the Generals are qualified, what I mean to say is they are contenders, so this does not go through the Board of Generals,” he added.

There are two other members of the Board of Generals besides Bautista and dela Cruz.