MANILA, Philippines—Lieutenant General Eduardo Año has been appointed as 57th Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff and replaced AFP General Ricardo Visaya.
Año replaced Visaya who retired after his 37 years of service in the military and more than 5 months helm in the AFP. Visaya bowed out on the military service as he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on December 8.
The Change of Command Ceremony at the AFP Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City was led by President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s also a Commander-in-Chief of AFP.
Visaya and Año are both members of “Matikas” in Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1983.
Among Año’s closest contender was the commander of Eastern Mindanao, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who is also from the PMA Class 1984.
Lt. Gen Eduardo Año
The rebel hunter started his military service on March 11, 1983, just after he graduated at PMA on the same year.
In July 2015, he was named Commanding General of the Philippine Army. He also led the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine army in Davao region and Soccsksargen. It was also under his leadership when the rebel leader in Southern Mindanao New People’s Army (NPA) Commander Leoncio Pitao a.k.a Kumander Parago was killed in Paquibato district.
The top NPA leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, including Andrea Rosal who’s the daughter of the late NPA spokesman Roger Rosal, was also captured when he was still the Chief of the Intelligence.
The abduction of Jonas Burgos, an activist, was linked to the new AFP chief but was cleared later on.
Año will also retire when he reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 in October 26, 2017.