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No word yet on extension of AFP chief Guerrero

Lt Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero

Lt Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero. PHOTO BY NOY MORCOSO/INQUIRER.net

With a few days before his compulsory retirement, it remains a mystery whether Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero’s term will be extended.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday refused to discuss the possible extension of Guerrero, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Dec. 17.

“I cannot talk about that,” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.

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Lorenzana had earlier expressed support to the possible extension of Guerrero. But it is President Rodrigo Duterte who has the prerogative on whether to extend his tenure.

READ: Lorenzana backs extension of new AFP chief Guerrero

Guerrero, then commander of the Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command, took the helm of the 130,000-strong Armed Forces last Oct. 26. This means he will serve as AFP chief for only less than two months unless his term is extended.

But the AFP chief said he is ready to retire anytime.

“Sabi ko nga, I’m just a soldier. Four-star general man ako, sundalo pa rin ako. Sumusunod lang ako sa utos,” he told reporters in a separate ambush interview.

(Like I said, I’m just a soldier. Even though I’m a four-star general, I’m still a soldier. I’m just following orders.)

“Hintayin niyo na lang (Just wait for it),” he said on the pending decision.

If his term will not be extended by the President, Guerrero will have the shortest tenure as AFP chief. Former AFP chief Gen. Benjamin Defensor currently has the record for serving only from Sept. 10, 2002 to Nov. 28, 2002, or less than three months. /je

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