Año is new AFP chief

New armed forces chief Lt.Gen. Eduardo Ano, right, and outgoing chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya salute during change-of-command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Año is new AFP chief
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Army chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año, whose appointment was not confirmed until the eleventh hour, officially assumed as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday.

“I am but a soldier just like you – a public servant dreaming of greater things for the military organization and a better nation. To all of you, I dedicate my term,” Año said during the turnover ceremony attended by President Duterte.

Año, the 48th chief of staff of the AFP replacing Gen. Ricardo Visaya, said he accepts the challenge of his new position.

Thanking the President for choosing him, the seasoned military intelligence officer from the Philippine Military Academy’s “Matikas” Class of 1983 also declared support for the administration’s fight against illegal drugs.

“In line with the President’s call to protect the future generations of Filipinos, the AFP shall extend all necessary military capabilities to support the lead of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies in bringing down drug syndicates and eradicating illegal drugs,” he said.

Año said he will ensure the competent performance of the military’s mandate during his term and will build upon the momentum and achievement of his predecessor.

He vowed to effect the change that he said “must start within us.”

“Your AFP shall be the relentless force ensuring that the Philippine flag is the only flag waving and flying across our land, air and seas,” Año said.

“But even as we uphold and respect the primacy of peace, make no mistake about it, we shall remain to be a lethal force capable of destroying any threat to our nation, for we will not let our people cower in the face of lawlessness and terrorism,” he added.

Año said the military will be unwavering and unfaltering in the pursuit of neutralizing every criminal and terror group.

Año was the Army’s 10th Infantry Division commander and led the operation in the killing of New People’s Army commander Leoncio Pitao a month before he was appointed as Army chief in July 2015.

Año also served as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Año is set to retire on Oct. 26, 2017. – Alexis Romero, Jaime Laude, Janvic Mateo, Pia Lee-Brago

Photo shows Ambassadors Zhao Jianhua of China and Sung Kim of the US at the event.

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