Philippine Pr Arroyo esidentapplauds Armed Forces Chief's decision to retire early

20:46, June 22, 2010      

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Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo applauded Gen. Delfin Bangit's move to let go of his post as Armed Forces chief and retire early.

"We want to honor Delfin Bangit, not just as a general, but as a human being, a gentleman who took the high ground by leaving the organization that he served so well for the sake of the greater good of the military and the country," Arroyo said in Tuesday's turnover of command ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo.

Arroyo appointed Bangit last March and was due to reach the retirement age of 56 on July 31 next year. But he opted for an early retirement after incoming President Benigno Aquino III said that Bangit will not be serving as Armed Forces Chief when he assumes the presidency on June 30.

Bangit formally relinquished his post to acting Armed Forces Vice Chief Lt. Gen. Nestor Ochoa in change of command ceremonies presided by outgoing President Arroyo.

Arroyo praised Bangit for his service that is "replete with experience and professionalism, always working hard to render exemplary service for nation."

Bangit, for his part, said he chose to retire because it is not good for the Armed Forces to be embroiled in a controversy like what happened here." He was alluding to Aquino's statement that he won't retain Bangit as Armed Forces Chief.

"I am concerned that because of what happened to me, people would think that the position of Armed Forces Chief is co-terminus with the commander in chief. It is not and will never be," he said.

"Just the same, we should do what is good and what is right. That's how it is because as soldiers, we do not live to be rewarded. We live to protect our country, this nation, and our people. We do not get tired of standing up for what is good, protect the armed forces no matter what," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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