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All Right, General Delfin Bangit, Sir? (2nd Update)

March 9, 2010

This is somewhat anticlimactic – the promotion of Army commanding  general Delfin Bangit as Armed Forces chief of staff.

His designation had earlier been expected as the main announcement at President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo final appearance as keynote speaker at the Philippine Military Academy.

But GMA held back given the most ugly rumors about a new right-wing power grab plot, a plot where Bangit and other key officers were supposedly going to maneuver an ‘emergency situation making it necessary to either declare martial law or installing a military junta with’ the end result of scuttling the May 10 elections.

But such a scheme, if true, appears to have fizzled out after one of the architects, said to belong to the inner circle of Mrs. Arroyo security advisers had to resign.

That such whispers (now proven to be unfounded for now) preceded General Bangit’s appointment, , adds to the burden that the good general bears as a fourth star is added to his shoulder pads.

He certainly is expected to provide vision and highly professional leadership well beyond the hold on power of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

To be absolutely fair to the new AFP Chief of Staff, at least two sources at Camp Aguinaldo and Bonifacio describe the general as “exceedingly amiable and with a hearty sense of humor, and not uptight at all.”

This writer believes this to be true.

But one must still be guardedly optimistic.

Public perception is not on General Bangit’s side.

He’s a ‘mistah’ of Mrs. Arroyo given how his PMA Class of 1978 adopted her as honorary member.

He was also head of military intelligence which oftentimes is suspected on being used to spy on if not harass Arroyo political enemies.

There are those who also wonder if his nickname ‘Emperor’ carries a deeper, albeit, probably unintended meaning.

The recent past  is replete with unresolved allegations of certain military officers having aided and abetted election cheating in 2004 and 2007.

There are also persistent complaints about state-sponsored terrorism and human rights violation on a scale exceeding that of the martial law era.

The onus on General Delfin Bangit is to insulate, nay absolutely stop, the military’s exploitation for, and participation in partisan politics.

Add to this the primary tasks of effectively protecting the Philippines from external security threats and shedding its involvement in local counter insurgency operation which are, in essence, really police actions best left in the hands of the civilian Philippine National Police.

It surely goes without saying that the Constitution, in which is enshrined the Bill of Rights, is inviolable.

All right, General Bangit, sir?


I will allow only God to use me.

I will do everything in my power to fight the enemies of democracy democracy.

I will not allow anybody to use me for partisan politics.

My God-given ourpose as AFP Chief of Staff is to provide professional and patriotic leadership to the Armed Forces.

We will pursue the modernization of the Armed Forces to enable it to perform its duties effectively.

We will uphold human rights. We are not above the law.

I will not betray our people.

To move forward we need to be able to hold very, very credible elec

Sa Diyos lamang ako magpapagamit.

These are the very first words of General Bangit as he took over the helm of the AFP just minutes ago.

Pres. Arroyo spoke briefly after General Bangit.

But what she said is equally a headline maker:

“We are committed to a smooth  transition to a newly elected government.”

We will hold you that, Mrs. Arroyo.

Very well said General Bangit.

Godspeed on your mission.


Before the ceremonies today, ABS-CBN’s Henry Omaga Diaz produced this advancer report by way of a backgrounder on the general:

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