PALACE DISMISSED CLAIMS AFP CHIEF YANO'S BRUNEI POSTING A REWARD
MANILA, APRIL 29, 2009 (STAR) Malacañang dismissed yesterday claims that outgoing Armed Forces chief Gen. Alexander Yano was named ambassador to Brunei to get him to agree to cut short his term by over a month.
Speaking to reporters, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government “urgently needs” to deploy an envoy to Brunei.
“Those (rumors) are very speculative,” he said. “We have to consider the fact that the Brunei Darussalam (ambassadorial) post is a very strategic position.”
Bello said the post is “as sensitive and prestigious” as postings in Washington or Beijing.
“I don’t think his being appointed there is a face-saving measure because I know General Yano will consider it a privilege to serve the country,” he said.
If he was offered the same post, he would grab it, Bello said.
With barely three days left in his tour of duty, Yano bade goodbye yesterday to officers and men of the Armed Forces in Luzon.
Apart from trips to the Southern Luzon and Northern Luzon commands, Yano also visited the Army, Air Force and Navy to fend off various speculations about his early retirement.
Yano said if he stays as Armed Forces chief up to his retirement date on June 13, he had to wait for least two to three months to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.
“It would be embarrassing if the host country will not accredit you because you are not yet confirmed,” he said.
Yano belied reports that he had met with First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to discuss Charter change. “I don’t even know the details of the Cha-cha,” he said. “That is why it’s also unfair. To be very frank about it, there is no such meeting, and I’m not that close (to him).” – Paolo Romero, Jaime Laude
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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