A new government position, possibly Cabinet-rank, is awaiting just retired Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista after he returns from his vacation.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd announced it on Friday in his speech at the change of command ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, that formalized the takeover of Lt. Gen. Catalino Pio Catapang as the 45th chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Bautista, according to the President, would only be out of service for about a month and thereafter resumed working with the government in another capacity.
Weeks before his retirement, Bautista had confided to reporters that he is keeping his options open if offered a position.
Earlier reports indicated that Bautista is being groomed to succeed Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, which the former AFP chief of staff vehemently denied.
“No, no, it cannot be. You cannot plan the decision of the President. That is at best a rumor. It has no basis,” Bautista said.
Bautista would be the fourth retired military chief to be given a civilian position under the Aquino administration after Ricardo David, Eduardo Oban and Jessie Dellosa.
David was appointed as Immigration commissioner after his retirement but was later forced to resign.
Oban was first appointed as president and chief executive officer of the state-owned Clark Development Corp. and currently as undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Dellosa is the current Customs deputy commissioner for intelligence group.