President Rodrigo Duterte has named incumbent 4th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, as the new head of the Philippine Army.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Centino’s appointment in a statement yesterday morning.
“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the designation of MGen Andres Centino as commanding general of the Philippine Army on May 14,” Roque said.
He wished Centino “all the best” and expressed confidence in his ability to serve as the new Army commander.
“We are confident that MGen Centino will continue the initiatives to professionalize and modernize the principal branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while building the gains to serve our people and secure our land,” he added.
AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a statement, welcomed Centino’s appointment.
“The General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomes the designation of Maj. Gen. Andres Centino as commanding general of the Philippine Army,” Arevalo said.
He added that Centino’s appointment came at the time when the AFP is vigorously pursuing its initiatives and building on its gains to defeat the Communist Terrorist Group, the Abu Sayyaf Group, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
“And this is where his attributes are expected to contribute immensely,” Arevalo said.
Given Centino’s known professionalism, operational experience, and managerial skills gained from various leadership echelons of the AFP, he said the new PA commander will undoubtedly stir the Army to greater heights.
Centino’s appointment to the top Army post was confirmed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as early as Saturday when asked by reporters if there is a newly appointed Army commander.
The 4th Infantry Division is based in Cagayan De Oro.
Centino, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988, will replace his classmate, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino, who was appointed acting PA chief in February.
Faustino, who still has several months remaining before his mandatory retirement in November this year, will be designated as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff on Peace and Development, AFP chief, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said.
Sobejana said Faustino’s relief was done in accordance with Republic Act 8186, Section 4, where the commanding general of the Philippine Army should have at least one year remaining in the service on the day of his assumption.
Under RA 8186, officers holding key positions, like the AFP chief of staff, vice chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, and major service commanders, are limited to a maximum tenure of three years unless relieved by competent authority or compulsorily retired.
Faustino will closely supervise the programs, activities, and projects of the AFP Peace and Development Office, especially on matters pertaining to the Normalization Process of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro, particularly in ensuring that the decommissioning of firearms of the former MILF combatants remains on schedule.
He said Faustino’s proven capacity to lead peace and development programs in communist terrorist group-affected areas will also be instrumental in his new position.*PNA