Bangit told to “keep quiet”

June 23, 2010

Hannah L. Torregoza
Manila Bulletin
June 23, 2010

Senators Wednesday said Armed Forces (AFP) Chief of Staff General Delfin Bangit should stop floating insinuations of a “dangerous precedent” in the appointment of future heads of the military institution.

Sen. Francis Escudero said Bangit should just “keep quiet” instead of rousing tension and skepticism on the policies of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s incoming administration.

“He should stop rabble-rousing and saber-rattling. And as (Gen. Douglas) MacArthur put it: just fade away,” Escudero said in a text message.

Bangit, during his farewell speech at the formal turn-over ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday, warned that what happened to him could also happen to the future military chiefs.

He also expressed concern over people’s perception that the position of the AFP Chief of Staff is co-terminus with the Commander-in-Chief saying it “is not and never will be.”

But lawmakers reiterated that Bangit’s appointment by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is unconstitutional.

Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. said he believes Aquino’s policies in choosing for the next military head is aligned with the Constitution.

“(There is) no danger to the AFP as an institution—only to officers who are used by power brokers,” Pimentel said also in a text message.

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, for his part said: Bangit’s case is simple—he only has his boss President Arroyo to blame.

“His appointment is illegal because it was made prior to the occurrence of a vacancy when (former AFP chief General Victor) Ibrado retired in March 10. It was a midnight appointment,” Pangilinan reiterated.

“The bad precedent is PGMA’s (President Arroyo’s) illegal appointment and his having accepted it. He has GMA to blame for this. When the Constitution is violated, it creates problems such as this. She totally disregarded the Constitution with Bangit’s appointment,” he said.

“Sila ang gumawa ng problema hindi si Presidente Noynoy. Bakit kikilalanin ang isang iligal na appointment? (They are the ones who created the problem not President Noynoy. Why would he recognize an illegal appointment?),” added Pangilinan.

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