MANILA — Philippine President Corazon Aquino named her top general as defense chief today in a military shake-up sparked by the resignation of Defense Secretary Rafael Ileto, who criticized the government for failing to reform the military and effectively combat the communist insurgency.
Aquino went on national television to announce the appointment of armed forces chief Gen. Fidel V. Ramos as new defense head, hours after Ileto, close to tears, warned that the nation's survival was endangered by a fragmented military and a growing communist insurgency.
The rebellion, Ileto declared, "has grown alarmingly strong because of a regime that does not address the welfare of its people."
Deputy Chief Named
In announcing the reshuffle, Aquino said: "The key ingredient is the final defeat of the communist insurgency." She named the deputy chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Renato de Villa, to replace Ramos.