AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)
MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., on Tuesday paid his final official visit to Army and Navy troops.
“The Army molded me into the kind of leader which prepared me in my role as your Chief of Staff,” Santos said in his speech during his visit to the Philippine Army (PA) headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Santos will step down from the military’s top post upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 on August 4.
During the visit, he also graced the ribbon cutting and blessing of the renovated “Silid Andres Bonifacio”, also known as the Commander’s Lounge, with Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay.
“We aim for operational and organizational excellence, modernization, strong partnerships with stakeholders, and the well-being of our personnel. I am delighted that these improvements exemplify the fulfillment of these thrusts,” Gapay said.
He added that the challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic would not hinder the PA’s aspirations to be a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.
AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. (left) and Philippine Army commander, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay (right). (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)
On the other hand, Santos expressed confidence that the PA is on the right track towards becoming truly world-class.
“I am very fortunate to be part of this worthy endeavor of the Philippine Army that aims to improve its delivery and quality service, through the enhancement of facilities that support the operations of the organization,” he added.
Meanwhile, during his visit to the PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada along Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Santos was accorded fitting honors as he met with Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, and other ranking naval officials.
During the meeting, both Santos and Bacordo expressed their confidence that the Navy and the AFP would sustain their gains in the coming years.
AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. (left) and Philippine Navy chief, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo. (Photo courtesy of the Naval Public Affairs Office)
Santos also lauded the PN for its “steadfast commitment of providing comprehensive maritime security for the whole archipelago and extensively devoting all of your resources and efforts to fast-track modernization, bringing you closer to fulfilling your vision of becoming a strong and credible Navy that all Filipinos can be truly proud of.”
He also expressed his appreciation for the “remarkable” involvement of Navy personnel in the national campaign to address the Covid-19 pandemic, saying, “The [Navy’s] versatility in confronting this challenge signifies another big leap (for) the enhancement of the organization’s core competency as we steadily and effectively increase our readiness and adaptability.”
Santos is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986 and is the 53rd AFP chief. He replaced Gen. Noel Clement who retired on January 4. (PNA)