>MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday said he has offered a job to outgoing Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo David, who is retiring on March 8.
“I’m also convincing General David. He’s still young, he might want to take on another responsibility afterwards. I’m almost a hundred percent that I was able to convince him,” Aquino told reporters after presiding the Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND-AFP) command conference at Camp Aguinaldo.
In a separate interview, David confirmed the job offer even as the selection process for his successor is still ongoing.
“He (Aquino) asked me if I want to serve under him and my (answer) was yes, I’ll probably (take a job). I also told him ‘Mr. President, if I am still of use in your government, I am very willing to serve’,” David said.
The AFP chief said he does not know which government post the President will give him when he bows out of the service.
David is the first AFP chief to serve under President Aquino.
David said he doubts if he will be offered a Cabinet position. “He asked what’s my preference. ‘Sir, whatever is vacant where I can be of help and if that fits my qualifications then, I will be very willing to be in that position’,” he said.
When asked if he will have a “pabaon,” David said he is expecting to receive the full amount of a lump sum which represents his longevity pay, the lump sum of his pension, leave credits, and contribution with the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFPRSBS).
David said he expects the President to start meeting potential candidates to succeed him as AFP chief.
The three-star generals included in the list of possible bets are AFP vice chief Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu; AFP deputy chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban; Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz; Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena; Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan; Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali; Western Command chief Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban; Central Command chief Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva; Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer; AFP inspector general Vice Adm. Mario Catacutan; and, Philippine Military Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Leonardo Calderon, who is retiring on March 24.
Calderon is from the PMA class ’76; Ferrer and Catacutan are from the PMA class ’77, while Mapagu, Rabena, Detabali, Sabban and Vilanueva are from PMA class ’78 which includes former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as an honorary member.
On the other hand, Ortiz, Oban and Pangilinan are from the PMA class ’79.
David said the two-star generals they included in the list of contenders are 2nd Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Jessie Dellosa of the PMA class ’79 and AFP deputy chief of staff for operations Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista of the PMA class ’81.