The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be getting a new spokesman in the person of Col. Restituto F. Padilla Jr. by December 4, this year.
Padilla, a distinguished Philippine Air Force officer, will be replacing incumbent AFP spokesperson Major Gen. Domingo J. Tutaan, Jr. who will be retiring that day.
AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has approved Padilla’s designation as the military’s next spokesperson.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandiwa” Class of 1985, Padilla will take over the daunting task of representing the 120,000-strong AFP organization, a position held by Tutaan since May 2013.
Padilla has just finished his stint as the Philippine Liaison to the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) in Hawaii and is now the assistant deputy chief-of-staff for Civil-Military Operations, J7.
He was recently awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his extraordinary planning and execution of four MDB-SEB (Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board) meetings, engagements and tireless efforts leading to the doubling of combined operations, actions, and activities planned and conducted in the Philippines.
USPACOM Commander Admiral Samuel J. Locklear personally donned Padilla his medal last Oct. 14.
A native of Cagayan De Oro City, Padilla was also instrumental in the planning and implementation of Operation “Damayan”, the US’ relief effort for Typhoon “Yolanda” victims.
An experienced spokesman himself, he held sensitive posts in the Philippine Air Force as public information chief in 2006 and secretary of the air staff in 2007.
Some of the key positions he previously held were the AFP secretary joint staff in 2010; commandant of the Philippine Air Force Flying School from 2007 to 2009; group commander of the Headquarters, Technical Operations Wing from 2006 to 2007; and squadron commander, 3rd Headquarters Air Wing Support.
His journey in the service is guided by his competency having completed both military and civilian trainings here and abroad.
In 2002, Padilla completed his Masters in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati. Prior to this, he took Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Computer Engineering at Don Bosco Technical College in 1981; and completed his Academic Instructor Course at the Air University in Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
From 1999 to 2000, Padilla represented the AFP in military trainings and conference on international and regional defense relations particularly the 42nd Mutual Defense Board Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2000; Pacific Chiefs of Defense Conferences in Hawaii in 1999; and Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific in Thailand in 1999.
He was also a member of the Philippine Panel for the RP-Australia Security Dialogue in Manila in January 2000.
In June 2010, Padilla received the Presidential Citation Badge and Election Duty Badge in recognition of his invaluable contribution in the country’s first automated national and local elections in 2010.
He is also a recipient of three Gold Cross Medals, three Bronze Cross Medals, Distinguished Aviation Cross, numerous Military Merit Medals, Commendations and an EDSA Revolution Badge which he received in 1987. PNA