President Benigno S. Aquino III, assisted by Mrs. Bernardita Bautista, confers the Philippine Legion of Honor with the degree of Chief Commander on outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista during the Testimonial Review and AFP Change of Command Ceremony at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City Friday (July 18, 2014).  (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III, assisted by Mrs. Bernardita Bautista, confers the Philippine Legion of Honor with the degree of Chief Commander on outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista during the Testimonial Review and AFP Change of Command Ceremony at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City Friday (July 18, 2014). (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) – Former Armed Forces chief retired general Emmanuel Bautista will not be appointed as next defense chief, a Palace official said Wednesday.

At a press briefing, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda belied reports that Bautista will replace Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

“No, it’s not true. I can say what is not [true], but I can’t say where he [Bautista] will be,” Lacierda told reporters when asked if Bautista will be given the Department of National Defense (DND)’s top post.

Lacierda however refused to give further details on Bautista’s new assignment.

“He [Bautista] asked for a month’s leave to spend time with his wife and children. Let’s give him the luxury of spending his precious time before he re-enters government,” the President’s spokesman said.

Earlier this month, President Benigno Aquino III hinted at a possible government post for Bautista after the general relinquished the military leadership to General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr.

Aquino has given all former AFP chiefs during his incumbency – Retired Generals Ricardo David, Eduardo Oban Jr. and Jessie Dellosa – government posts after they bowed out of military service. (MNS)