MANILA – President Aquino named Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of National Defense announced on Wednesday.
Defense Spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said, Catapang will be taking over the post of former Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who will be retiring two days ahead of his mandatory retirement age.
Catapang, who was also formerly assigned to several conflict-stricken areas in Mindanao also served as commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Nueva Ecija.
The new chief, who still has a year to go before his retirement, was also described by the junior military members as a “well-rounded officer.”
Being the new chief of the military, Catapang, who was member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Dimalupig” Class of 1981 and a former commander of the Tarlac-based Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) will now be commanding a 125,000-strong military of the country.
Other contenders to the top military post includes Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri of PMA Class of 1983 and Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado of PMA Class 1982.
Prior to Catapang’s designation, were among the contenders to the top military post.