New AFP chief Brawner inspires high hopes among senators

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senators have high hopes for Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. as he takes the helm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In separate messages, Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel and Senators Ronald dela Rosa and Jinggoy Estrada looked back at Brawner’s military career, which, they said, made him suitable to lead the AFP.

Brawner replaced Gen. Andres Centino as AFP chief.

Dela Rosa, a former police chief, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a “very good decision” when he picked Brawner as the new AFP chief of staff.

“Excellent choice. Gen. Brawner was my plebe in the Academy, and I know what he is made of. He comes from a family of generational heroes,” he said.

Estrada, who chairs the Senate committee on national defense and security, lauded Brawner’s predecessor Centino for his “significant accomplishments in improving our internal security situation.”

He added that Brawner will be inheriting “a much better AFP” from Centino.

“As he takes on his significant responsibility, I am confident that Lt. Gen. Brawner will lead the AFP with the highest level of integrity, professionalism, and honor,” Estrada said.

The lawmaker also remembered Brawner’s “distinguished career,” where he has “proven himself as a capable military leader.”

“(Brawner’s) extensive experience in various key positions within the AFP has honed his skills in managing complex operations and addressing the security challenges that our country faces,” Estrada added.

Pimentel was rather reserved with his words for Brawner, saying he would defer to the judgment of Marcos, who, he said, should know his appointees better as the commander-in-chief.