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    Philippine Military Chief Replaced by Retiring General

    Philippine Military Chief Replaced by Retiring General

    , (AP) — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday cut short the term of the chief of staff he appointed five months ago and replaced him with a retiring general without explaining the surprise move.

    Marcos's office announced the replacement of Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, who had received the highest military award for combat bravery. A statement late Friday that did not specify any reason for the change in military leadership. Bacarro's three-year term was supposed to end in August 2025.

    The appointment of military chiefs is a sensitive issue. The military has a history of restiveness, failed coup attempts, corruption scandals and has faced accusations of human rights violations. Efforts have been made for years to instill professionalism in the military and insulate it from the country's traditionally chaotic and corruption-tainted politics.

    Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, the military chief of staff who Bacarro replaced in August last year, was installed by Marcos to the top post of the 144,000-strong armed forces. Centino, who was due to retire next month, was chosen over a dozen senior generals and will have a fresh three-year term.

    Asked for reaction on his removal, Bacarro told reporters without elaborating Friday night in a text message that the military would support the chief.

    National police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said police forces have been placed on…

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