By Francis Wakefield
President Duterte has appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines-Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) Chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., as the new AFP Chief of Staff.
In a letter addressed to Defense Secretary DelfinLorenzana Wednesday, the Chief Executive said that he has received his letter of endorsement and in accordance with the recommendation of outgoing AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr., who is also the chairman of the AFP Board of Generals, he has approved the designation of Lt. Gen. Madrigal as the 50th AFP chief.
“Dear Secretary Lorenzana: I wish to inform you that per your letter-endorsement and in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chairman, AFP Board of Generals, pursuant to Republic Act No.8186, as amended by Republic Act No. 9188, the designation of Lieutenant General Benjamin R. Madrigal Junior 0-9288 Armed Forces of the Philippines as Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines vice Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. 0-9267 AFP is hereby approved effective December 12, 2018,” the letter read.
Earlier, SecretaryLorenzana said that he has yet to see the signed paper designating Madrigal as the new AFP Chief of Staff.
Lorenzana made the remark after Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año was quoted as saying that Madrigal has been chosen by President Duterte to replace Galvez.
Both Madrigal and Galvez are classmates or “mistahs” at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandiwa” Class of 1985.
Galvez, who will retire from the military service at the age of 56 on December 12, 2018, is the 49th Chief of Staff of the AFP.
AFP Public Affairs Chief Colonel Noel Detoyato, meanwhile, described Madrigal as an officer “highly regarded and respected by his classmates and even by his seniors.”
“He is both an administrator and a manager. As the current EastMinCom commander, he is very adept in triad operations with his boots firmly grounded,”Detoyato said.
Prior to his appointment as chief of EastMinCom, Madrigal also held the position as Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) chief.
Madrigal held key positions in the Philippine Army. He is the former commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro. He was assistant Division commander and later acting Division commander of the 10th Infantry Division in Compostela Valley before becoming the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.
He also held major positions in the AFP General Headquarters as Chief of War Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans; Secretary Joint Staff, AFP; and Head Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff.
Madrigal is set to retire on September 28, 2019.