AFP spokesman gets new key post

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The spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has assumed one of the key positions within the military on Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. is the new AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans (J5) but will remain as the official spokesman for the military.

He replaced Maj. Gen. Guillermo Molina Jr., who is set to hang his uniform on September 5.

Padilla, an Air Force pilot, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandiwa” Class of 1985 and is the batchmate of Southern Luzon Command chief Maj. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, who recently took over the position.

The J5 is the AFP’s lead policy and strategy formulator, strategic planner and overseer of international military affairs. It is also responsible for all strategies, plans and policy recommendations supporting the AFP Chief of Staff’.

Prior to this position, Padilla was the assistant deputy chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations (J7), which he handled since November 2014.

He was formerly the AFP Liaison Officer of the United States Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii from 2011 to 2014.

Upon graduation from the PMA, Padilla entered the Philippine Air Force and earned his Aviator (Pilot) Wings from the PAF Flying School in 1987.

He is also an academic instructor, having completed his Academic Instructor Training at the Air University in Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

The concurrent military spokesman obtained his master’s degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management.

This is not the first time Padilla will be entering the office of J5 since he was formerly the chief of its International Affairs Division.

He is a recipient of awards and commendations from the military and civilian sectors including the Distinguished Aviation Cross, the highest award for an airman in the Philippine Air Force for “superb and gallant airmanship in a rescue and recovery incident.”

Among his priorities in his new position, Padilla said, are international relations and capability development.

DEMPSEY REYES

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