Esperon’s promotion disregards process: Biazon
Statement of Senator Rodolfo G Biazon, chair of the Senate Committee on national defense and security, on the promotion of AFP Chief Hermogenes Esperon without going through the process of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
Biazon cited that in the case of General Lisandro Abadia who had been selected by former President Aquino for appointment to the position of AFP COS, General Abadia within a period of five years –from 1986 – 1991 had to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments in his promotions in each and every step of the way – from Colonel to Brigadier General last February 1, 1989; from Brigadier General to Major General last February 20, 1991; from Major General to Lt General last June 5, 1991 and from Lt General to General also last June 5 1991. Although his confirmation from Lt. General to General was on the same date, still General Abadia had to be confirmed as Lt General.
The rest of Biazon’s statement:
Former President Corazon Aquino invoking her prerogative as Commander in Chief in the appointment of General Abadia to the position of AFP Chief of Staff, and the series of promotions that took General Abadia to the four-star rank WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION OF HAVING THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS CONFIRM THE PROMOTIONS IN THE AFP.
General Abadia was promoted from the rank of Colonel to the rank of 4 star General by going through the confirmation process of the Commission on Appointments. He was advanced in rank and position according to the Constitution on the basis of his merit and performance and there was no issue against General Abadia except by senior officers who were by-passed by his promotion.
The case of General Esperon is a different matter. There is still this pending resolution in the investigation of the Garci Tapes for his alleged participation in the conduct of election fraud last May 2004. This has to be resolved.
General Esperon still has to be confirmed to Lt General and his appointment to the rank of 4 star General is a disregard by the President of the confirmation process as provided for in the Constitution.
One thing that could have helped in clearing this issue would be the submission of the Mayuga Report. The Mayuga Report needs to be examined by the Commission on Appointments for the confirmation process.
One strange public statement by Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga when he headed the Mayuga Board issued after his submission of his report to the President was: “ It was not the intention of the Board to investigate culpability.”
This statement sounded strange and needs to be closely examined in this confirmation process otherwise this disregard of the confirmation process could lead to more instability in the
ranks of the AFP.