A UNITED States-educated army general with an extensive background in military intelligence has been named new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
With highly-decorated Lt. General Eduardo Año at the helm of the powerful AFP, there should be happy reasons to expect the best in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Año, who will serve for 10 months before reaching the compulsory retirement age of 56, replaced retired Gen. Ricardo Visaya.
A member of Class 1983 of the Philippine Military Academy, the new military chief studied at the US Army Intelligence Center and School in 1993 and the Israel Counter Terrorism Center in 2002.
Visaya and Año are both members of Class 1983 of the PMA, country’s premier military school.
We believe that Año would continue the national government’s modernization of internal security and territorial defense capabilities.
Año is expected to exert his efforts to end the decades-old insurgency in this impoverished but manpower-exporting Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people.
Although trained to fight in war, the country’s military officers and men should also support government initiatives to address the armed conflict through peaceful means.
In the view of many, Año’s appointment to the top AFP post comes at a critical time in the country’s history.
The Duterte administration is pursuing peace with rebel groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military arm New People’s Army (NPA).
Likewise, the new AFP chief is supportive of the national government’s all-out war against illegal drugs not only in the Metropolitan Manila area but also in the countryside.
We hope our soldiers continue to serve the people and country -- after all, AFP officers and men are paid by the taxpayers’ money.