The New Chief of Staff

Manila Bulletin, January 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

The New Chief of Staff


PRESIDENT Aquino made an outstanding choice in Army Chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista for his next AFP Chief of Staff. Prior to his appointment as Army chief in November, 2011, Gen. Bautista had been assigned to various posts around the country, but never in Sulu. Bautista served in Mindanao as a lieutenant platoon leader of the 26th Infantry Battalion from 1981 to 1983; in the Visayas as the leader of the 7th Scout Ranger Company from 1987 to 1989; and commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division, which cleared areas in Central Luzon of communist influence from 2008 to 2009.

***

Like all professional soldiers, he went through a slew of officers' general staff courses (Joint Staff College Virgina, USA; Staff and Tactics Course in New Zealand; Symposium on East Asian Security, and Security Sector Development at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He has an MBA from UP Dilliman and taught economics, military history, and military strategy at PMA.

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In HQ, he served in various capacities, including, at various times, as Internal Auditor, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff J5 (Plans), Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of National Defense and managing international affairs of the AFP), etc. His is one of the most varied career path spanning operations and HQ,

* * *

TRUST, BUT VERIFY. But perhaps his provenance is his best asset. I remember seeing his photo as freshman PMA cadet by the bier of his father, Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, who was waylaid together with 35 comrades by MNLF Commander Usman Sali in Sulu. That was a "peace-keeping Charge of the Light Brigade." After graduating from the PMA in 1981, the young Bautista asked to be assigned in Sulu with the 1st Infantry Division, the unit his father commanded before his death. His request was denied and, as a compromise, he was assigned to Lanao del Norte, another province in Mindanao.

* * *

The son who follows his distinguished father is in the best position to pursue the government's Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan to win the hearts and minds of the people. Trust, but Verify.

* * *

HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL. President Aquino was first to apply for exemption from Comelec gun ban; but Comelec Chairman Sixtoi Brillanes Jr. reflexively said the Commander in Chief was not covered by the ban. The argument that the President is above this law might be argued and contrived legally; but is that exemplary?

* * *

CAAP Suspends Examiner For Fake Report - News item. …

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