MANILA - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista has shunned testimonial parades ahead of his retirement this week.
Instead, Bautista decided to just go around and meet with the officers and men of the three major services under his care.
AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said it is the option of the retiring chief to turn down testimonial parades offered by his men.
Only the customary parade will be done on Friday, which will be led by President Benigno Aquino III.
Bautista is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Sunday, but will already relinquish his post on Friday.
“He said goodbye, he is thankful for the support they gave him as chief of staff. He thanked them for the support in all his endeavors like the implementation of IPSP (Internal Peace and Security Plan) Bayanihan,” he said.
The IPSP Bayanihan is the brainchild of Bautista. It is the military’s campaign plan to achieve peace on or before the end of President Aquino’s term.
Bautista led the AFP for more than 18 months.
Earlier in the day, Bautista visited troops of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command based in Lucena City.
He then went to the Bonifacio Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City and then went to the Air Force headquarters in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City,
His last stop was at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.
“What’s important to him is to be able to talk with the troops and that’s what he did – for him to speak with the men themselves,” Zagala said.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, and AFP vice chief Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang are said to be the frontrunners to succeed him.