MANILA, Philippines -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Delfin Bangit said on Friday he is still weighing his options on whether he will step down or retire early before Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III formally assumes his post as president and commander-in-chief on June 30.
Bangit, who was interviewed by media during the military’s testimonial parade for outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said he will make a formal announcement soon.
"We are still studying what the good move [is]. But whatever it is, whatever I will do will be for the good of the Armed Forces," said the AFP chief.
Bangit said he was willing to go on early retirement, adding: "It's just a matter of making the decision after proper preparations are made."
Bangit assumed the post as AFP chief last March, and is supposed to retire from the service at the age of 56 in July next year.
"Whether I will retire or whether I will transfer the (position of) chief of staff, all of these are being studied, and I will make the announcement later... not later than July 1. And I will make the announcement in due time," he said.
Aquino earlier said he will replace Bangit due to perceived differences with the military chief.
In his first press conference after his proclamation last Wednesday, Aquino said he will replace Bangit as military chief since he already opposed the latter's appointment even before the start of the period of the midnight appointments ban.
Aquino said Bangit will not be one among more than 200 military officers whose promotion will be resubmitted to the Commission on Appointments (CA) for confirmation.
"With the caveat that all of those who have been presented to the Commission on Appointments, with the exception of the chief of staff, have no issues before them, after a cursory review we will resubmit their appointments so that those who are deserving will be considered and fulfill the requirements of the Constitution and thereby get their appropriate ranks," he said.