Año is new AFP Chief

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MANILA, Philippines- Army Lieutenant General Eduardo Año is the new Armed Forces chief of staff, replacing General Ricardo Visaya who officially retired Wednesday, December 7.

While AFP vice chief Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda will succeed Año as Army chief.

Año, graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 83, Año began his military service on March 11, 1983.

His previous assignment included, brigade commander of the 201st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and as commanding general of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division with operational responsibility over Davao Region, parts of Region 12, and two other areas.

In June 2014, the 10th ID launched an operation that resulted in the killing of Leoncio Pitao aka Kumander Parago, the highest NPA official and most influential leader in the Davao region.

He was the former assistant chief of staff for intelligence of the Army, and then moved up to assistant chief of staff for intelligence of the entire Armed Forces.

Alleged NPA leaders leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and Andrea Rosal – alleged NPA commander and daughter of the late NPA spokesman ka Roger Rosal – were captured.

Retired Major General Jovito Palparan, who was accused of abducting student activists Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, was also arrested under Año.

Año was appointed commanding general of the Philippine Army in July 2015.

After his installation as 57th chief of the Army, Año declared his commitment to reduce the number of NPA rebels to less than 1,000 by 2016.

During his installation, Año vowed to run after lawless elements including the Abu Sayyaf Group and Maute fighters.

“As your AFP Chief, I will lead our transformation with fervor to realize our vision of a strong, modern, and credible Armed Forces, a source of pride of the Filipino people…I am determined to lead the AFP in this endeavor by pushing forward the modernization of our internal security and territorial defense capabilities,” he said.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 83, Año began his military service on March 11, 1983.

But Militant rights group Karapatan in 2015 also linked Año to “Palparan-style human rights abuses” in Mindanao.

“Since 2014 to present, with Año as commander of the 10th Infantry Division in Mindanao, Karapatan has documented several Palparan-style human rights abuses, which includes extrajudicial killing, disappearances, illegal arrests, torture, hamletting, and forcible evacuation of civilians,” the group said.

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