Former military leader Boy Faustino is Marcos’ Secretary of Defense

Born in Benguet in the so-called Solid North, Faustino’s tour of duty includes short stints as commanding general of the army and chief of staff of the armed forces.

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff and retired general Jose “Boy” Faustino Jr. as secretary of defense.

Marcos announced the former military leader’s appointment on Friday, June 17, through designated press secretary Trixie Angeles. He will succeed Delfin Lorenzana as Secretary of the Ministry of National Defense (DND).

The new Chief of Defense would serve as Principal Under-Secretary and Secretary of DND as Officer-in-Charge, then later assume the position of Secretary on November 13, 2022.

Angeles explained that Faustino would have to serve as an OCI first to comply with the law. “Faustino is appointed Principal Undersecretary and Officer in Charge of the Department of National Defense (DND), a position he will later assume as Secretary on November 13, 2022, pursuant to the one-year ban on appointment. retired military officers under Republic Act 6975,” Camp Marcos said in a statement.

“Faustino’s situation,” Cruz-Angeles said, “was similar to the case of the current Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Eduardo Año, whom President Duterte has designated as responsible, but then assumed the post of secretary once the ban on appointment expired.”

Faustino would be the 37th Chief of Defense of the Philippines. As Secretary of DND, he will mainly oversee the country’s defence, security and territorial integrity.

The Chief of DND will also oversee the Philippine Army, including its three service branches: the Philippine Army, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force.

Faustino was the 10th head of AFP under outgoing President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Duterte. He only served four months, making him one of the short-term military leaders.

The new defense chief has been retired for seven months; he reached the mandatory army retirement age of 56 in November 2021.

Lorenzana’s successor was born in Benguet, part of the so-called “Solid North” and Bailiwick of Marcos. Although born in the North, Faustino spent the crucial years of his career in Davao City, the territory of Duterte.

A Scout Ranger, Faustino had been commander of the 10th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over Davao City and neighboring provinces. He also later headed the Davao City-based AFP Eastern Mindanao Command, which commands all soldiers in Davao provinces.

Controversial

Faustino was also a former Commanding General of the Philippine Army. However, shortly after his appointment, former police chief and senator Panfilo Lacson flagged his appointment as illegal and cited a law requiring major department heads and other senior officers – with the exception of the chief of staff – to have at least one year before they are promoted.

The then army chief did not qualify as he was retiring in less than a year. Initially, DND insisted that Faustino could remain in his post on an acting basis, but after 104 days the agency fired him.

After leaving his post in the army, the army said that Faustino would be appointed special assistant to the chief of staff for peace and development. But in June 2021, the military announced the creation of Joint Task Force Mindanao and named Faustino as its first commander. – Rappler.com

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