Press Release
August 27, 2008

Villar: Senate approves bills professionalizing the military

Senate President Manny Villar today said bills which seek to instill professionalism and further insulate the military from politics have been passed on third reading by the Senate.

Villar said in Tuesday's session, the Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill No. 31, which seeks to fix the term of the Armed Forces (AFP) Chief of Staff to three years and Senate Bill No. 233 which prohibits a newly-retired military officer from being appointed Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND) within three years after retirement.

"We seek to provide continuity in the AFP and to give the chief of staff ample time to formulate policies and implement changes in the military that will give the organization direction," Villar, also the Nacionalista Party president, said.

"It is also important that we uphold civilian supremacy in the DND portfolio and to give the assurance that merit and fitness prevail in the selection process for this position," he added.

Villar said the so-called "revolving-door policy" being observed in the appointment of the military chiefs-of-staff limits the implementation of substantial reforms in the AFP.

"We also hope to be able to do away with the connotation that promotion of retiring generals is a form of political accommodation," Villar said.

The Senate President added the passage of these two measures show the Senate's resolve in instituting much-needed reforms in the 120,000-strong AFP.

News Latest News Feed