Former Philippine military commander returning to defense minister under the Marcos administration

The newly elected President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has selected a retired general and a former military chief to serve as the next Minister of Defense, spokesman Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on June 17. ..

Jose Faustino, Chief Staff of the Former Philippine Army (AFP), will serve as Senior Deputy Secretary and Officer of the Pentagon under a tentative arrangement. Local report.

Cruz-Angeles said Faustino will assume the role of Secretary of Defense on November 13, under a rule prohibiting military officers from assuming ministerial status for one year after retirement.

“The situation in Faustino was similar to that of Eduardo Ano, the current Secretary of the Interior and Autonomy, who was appointed by President Duterte as an officer, but later became a secretary after the ban was passed,” she said. Stated.

Prior to his appointment as General Commander of AFP, Faustino was Commander of the Mindanao Joint Task Force and Commander of the Filipino Army.

Cruz-Angeles described him as “a respected Mindanao veteran who served under special forces, infantry, and intelligence.”

Incumbent Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana is confident in Faustino’s ability to lead the Pentagon and looks forward to working with Philippine News Agency during the transition period until June 30. Said. report.

“With his many years of devoted service as an officer, General Faustino is confident that he will continue the ministry’s momentum in our internal security and external defense operations, as well as in the modernization of the entire military and defense organization. “I will.” ..

The new Defense Minister is expected to balance the Philippines’ treaty ally, the United States, with China, which is expanding its military presence in the conflicting South China Sea.

Beijing claims much of the South China Sea as unique under the so-called “nine-dash line”. The Hague Court ruled in 2016 in favor of the Philippines. However, Beijing’s repeated invasions of Manila’s territory have had little or no impact on the actions of the Chinese government.

Faustino was 10 years oldth He was the head of the army under President Rodrigo Duterte and led a powerful army of 143,000 people over the last four months.

Relations between the United States and its former Asian colonies have been complicated under Duterte, who has criticized US foreign policy and sought close ties with China since taking office in 2016.

Marcos, the son of a former Philippine dictator and of the same name, nominated former Senate Chairman Juan Ponce Enrile as presidential lawyer and retiring Minister of Justice Menard Gebara as solicitor.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldograph Redley


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer featuring the Epoch Times Asia Pacific News.

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