President Duterte names Año as AFP chief

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Philippine Army Chief Lieutenant General Eduardo Año as the new chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday.

Año replaced his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Gen. Ricardo Visaya, who formally retired after 37 years of service.

Both men are members of PMA Class of 1983. Año is also a cum laude graduate of the prestigious military academy.

Año will serve as AFP chief until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Oct. 26, 2017.

Prior to becoming the AFP chief, he served at the Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines from 2012 to 2014 before becoming commander of the Compostela Valley-based 10th Infantry Division.

Año was also credited with the capture of Communist Party of the Philippines chair Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma in Alonguisan, Cebu last March 22, 2014.

He was also responsible for the killing of rebel commander Leonardo Pitao alias Kumander Parago in June 28, 2015.

Año was named Philippine Army commander in July 15, 2015.

The new AFP chief is a recipient of two Distinguished Service Stars; one Gold Cross medal for gallantry in combat action; a Silver Cross Medal; and 24 Bronze Cross medals for intelligence operations; 38 Military Merit Medals, three of which are with Spearhead Device for accomplishments in combat actions against armed enemies; and nine Military Commendation Medals; a Silver Wing Medal, and other various awards and Command Plaques to include the most coveted Philippine Military Academy Cavalier Award in recognition as outstanding PMA Alumnus in the field of Army Operations in 1996. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com