Sponsorship Speech for Senior AFP Officers at the Commission on Appointments

Mr. Chairman, this representation as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee on National Defense, presided over a public hearing to deliberate on the ad interim appointments of 14 Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the nomination of one officer to the rank of Lieutenant General.

Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the said public hearing, has determined that all of the 14 appointees and one nominee are fit and qualified to the ranks which they are respectively nominated or appointed, and has therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their respective nomination and appointments for the consent and confirmation of this august body.

It is therefore my honor and privilege to recommend to the Commission the confirmation of the ad interim appointment of LT. GEN. GENERAL ANTONIO G. PARLADE, JR.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to recommend that this body give its consent to the nomination of MAJ. GENERAL CORLETO S. VINLUAN, JR. to the rank of Lieutenant General.ย  I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I would also like to recommend to this august body the confirmation of the ad interim appointments of the following senior officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines:

1. MAJ. GEN. EDGARD A. AREVALO. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, the CA extends our deepest condolences to Maj. Gen. Arevalo. His beloved father just passed away a few minutes ago or while we were waiting to confirm in plenary his ad interim appointment. I so move, Mr. Chairman.

2. MAJ. GEN. ROWEN S. TOLENTINO, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

3. MAJ. GEN. EDGARDO Y. DE LEON, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

4. MAJ. GEN. GENEROSO M. PONIO, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

5. MAJ. GEN. PEALE JON L. BONDOC, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, it is likewise my privilege to recommend to this Commission the confirmation of the ad interim appointments of the following officials:

1. BRIG. GEN. ARAUS ROBERT F. MUSICO, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

2. BRIG. GEN. ANGELICA DL. TORRES, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

3. BRIG. GEN. CARLITO R. BUENO, JR., I so move, Mr. Chairman.

4. BRIG. GEN. ARMEL S. TOLATO*, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

5. BRIG. GEN. NORWYN ROMEO P. TOLENTINO, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

6. BRIG. GEN. DANILO O. CARIร‘O, I so move, Mr. Chairman.

7. BRIG. GEN. ANDREW D. COSTELO, I so move, Mr. Chairman,

and finally,

8. BRIG. GEN. LYNDON J. SOLLESTA, I so move, Mr. Chairman

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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At the CA COMMITTEE HEARING:

At the CA committee hearing earlier, Sen. Lacson advised Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief, a piece of advice to be careful with issuing statements, including on the “regulation” of social media.

“(AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gilbert) Gapay should have qualified his statement because itโ€™s all-encompassing. When you say regulate social media, thatโ€™s it, regulate. But there are qualifications in the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that we have to establish the intent and purpose. Kailangan ma-establish ang motive. Itโ€™s not prior restraint. But the use of social media in the planning, preparation and even the execution of terrorist acts. So while I admire your statement you support the statement of the CSAFP, itโ€™s lacking in substance. Dapat sinabi niya it should have been qualified.”

“I myself commented it was an ill-advised statement coming as it did from the CSAFP. So pag nagsalita kayo, this is a very sensitive issue, subject of discussion and even pending decision by the (Supreme) Court. There are at least 26 petitions filed already. So yan, siguro dapat kinwalify niya ang kanyang statement.”

“Just a piece of advice. When you issue statements, be very careful, and be very conscious because pag sinabi mong regulate social media, yan ang sinasabi ni Sen Drilon na prior restraint. Papasok tayo riyan, weโ€™ll be in violation of the (doctrine on) prior restraint. So you should be very careful. I know that the intention of the CSAFP when he issued the statement, was not along the line of imposing restraint on social media or media in general. And that is not the legislative intent of the ATL when we deliberated on it on the floor and when we passed it.”

“So kindly relay that piece of advice to your Chief of Staff. Anyway heโ€™ll be appearing here in due time because I think he has not received his nomination yet, heโ€™s still at Lt Gen. Anyway heโ€™ll be a better resource person to comment on a statement he himself issued.”

Sen. Lacson also had a message for Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, WestMinCom commander:

“As a former member of both the AFP for 20 years from 1971 to 1991; and the PNP for 10 years, from 1991 upon the passage of the PNP Law to 2001 when I won my seat in the Senate, I would just like to state that I sincerely hope that whatever animosity was created by the unfortunate incident will be limited under your area of jurisdiction and to that particular incident; and would not drive any wedge between the PNP and AFP as institutions. Yan lang masasabi ko. And I do hope that your efforts should follow that line.”

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