By Francis Wakefield
The Department of National Defense (DND) Thursday welcomed the appointment of Armed Forces of the Philippines-Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) Chief Lt..Gen. Benjamin Madrigal. Jr. as the new AFP Chief of Staff.
In a statement, DND Spokesman Director Arsenio Andolong said the whole defense team will fully support the new Chief of Staff once he assumes command of the 135,000-strong AFP force on December 12, 2018, the day of the retirement of outgoing AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr.
The retirement and assumption ceremony will take place at the AFP Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, with President Rodrigo Duterte as the guest of honor.
“The One Defense Team congratulates Lt. Gen Madrigal and assures him of the Department’s full support as he takes the helm of the AFP leadership from his predecessor, Gen. Galvez,” Andolong said in a statement.
“The DND thanks Gen. Galvez for his commendable leadership and outstanding military service that inspired professionalism, patriotism and good governance in the AFP, allowing it to reach many milestones in our efforts to achieve just and lasting peace, and promotion of human rights and respect for the rule of law,” he added
President Duterte, the Commander-in-chief of the AFP, approved on Wednesday (December, 5 2018) the appointment of Madrigal as next Chief of Staff as per endorsement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, chairman of the AFP Board of Generals (BOG).
“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 Lt. Gen. 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.
The rigorous selection of the CSAFP is pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 8186, as amended by Republic Act 9188.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985, Madrigal the most senior of the AFP BOG recommendees and is considered the most competent and has distinct professionalism, leadership and character.
Madrigal held key positions in the Philippine Army. He is the former commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan De Oro, 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, OJ5; Secretary Joint Staff, AFP; and Head Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff.
Prior to his appointment as chief of EastMinCom, Madrigal also held the position as Southern Luzon Command (SoLCom) chief.
AFP Public Affairs Chief Colonel Noel Detoyato earlier 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 EeastMinCom commander, he is very adept in triad operations with his boots firmly grounded,” Detoyato said.
Madrigal is set to retire on September 28, 2019.