• Armed Forces chief, 5 envoys get CA’s nod

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    THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the promotion of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Eduardo Año and 29 other military officials but deferred the confirmation hearing of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. because of issues regarding his citizenship.

    There was no opposition raised against Año‘s promotion but members of the CA committee on national defense
    headed by Rep. Roy Loyola asked him about his plans for the AFP and position on the order of President Rodrigo Duterte for the military to take part in the anti-illegal drugs operations of the government.

    Año, responding to the question on how he intends to lead the AFP in nine months, said he would ensure the continuity of the six-year campaign plan of the military that was crafted by his predecessors.

    The military, he added, will also make a priority operations against foreign terror groups in the country and the campaign against communist rebels.

    “I will make sure that the AFP transformation road map would be in accordance with the campaign plan,” Ano told the CA panel members.

    On the war on drugs, the AFP chief said they have not received any formal order from the President but based on his understanding, the military will just serve as a support force for the lead agency, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    He noted there is no authority for the AFP to conduct anti-drug operations but they are willing to contribute to the efforts of the PDEA.

    The CA committee on national defense also confirmed the promotions of 29 senior military officials of the AFP.

    Meanwhile the foreign affairs committee of the CA headed by Lacson also confirmed the appointments of five officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) but rescheduled the confirmation hearing of Yasay.

    Among those who got the CA’s nod wee Eduardo Eco Kapunan Jr. as Ambassador to Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Bienvenido Villamor Tejano as Ambassador to Papua New Guinea; Abdulmaid Kiram Muin as Ambassador to Republic of Timor-Leste; Evan Pumaren Garcia as Permanent Representative of the Philippines to United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and Celia Anna Mallari Feria as Ambassador to Portugal.

    Yasay’s confirmation hearing was reset to February 22 in order to allow the CA House panel to conduct its preliminary vetting on the DFA secretary’s citizenship.

    Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, of San Juan City (Metro Manila) said they want Yasay to tell the truth about his supposed US citizenship.

    The issue has been hounding the DFA secretary since last year.

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