Press Release
August 22, 2011

Senate passes bill fixing term of office of AFP Chief-of-Staff

The Senate today passed on Third Reading a bill prescribing fixed terms for the Chief-of-Staff and Major Service Commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Under SBN 2869, the Chief-of-Staff off the AFP shall have a fixed term of office of three years, commencing on the date of appointment by the President and regardless of the date of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (COA), while Major Service Commanders will have a fixed term of two years.

Earlier, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, former Philippine National Police Director and now chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said that passage of the bill will "help get rid of the so-called revolving door policy in the AFP where an official -- particularly the most senior one -- is appointed Chief-of-Staff despite nearing retirement age."

A revolving door policy in the military results in the appointment of a senior AFP official to the position of Chief-of-Staff even if the official is already about to retire from office.

It must be recalled that during the nine-year rule of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a total of eleven Chiefs-of-Staff served in the AFP with most of them having served for less than a year.

"Once this bill is enacted into law, future AFP Chiefs-of-Staff will all be able to focus more on professionalizing the ranks within the AFP and allow for better planning and program development in the military," Lacson said.

The bill also states that Major Service Commanders will no longer be disqualified from being appointed to the position of AFP Chief-of-Staff, even if they have served for more than one year.

"The officer will only be disqualified if he reaches the retirement age of 56 before he finishes his fixed term of office, which is two years," Lacson explained. Also included in the bill is a provision which states that when an officer appointed to the position of Chief-of-Staff reaches the compulsory retirement age before the end of his three year term, his retirement shall be deferred until he completes his prescribed term of office provided that he may be removed from office by the President for loss of confidence any time before the end of three years.

The Senate also decided to name Senators Panfilo Lacson, Antonio Trillanes IV, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Gregorio Honasan, and Pia Cayetano into the Senate panel of the Bicameral Conference Committee of the bill.

News Latest News Feed