Lt. Gen. Gregorio “Pio” Catapang was named the new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, replacing Gen. Emmanuel Bautista who will retire on Friday when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Catapang, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Dimalupig” Class of 1981,was appointed AFP vice chief of staff in May.
He was the former commander of the Northern Luzon Command and the 7th Infantry Battalion. AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said on Wednesday that the military chain of command is confident on Catapang’s capability to lead the 125,000-strong AFP.
“General Catapang is a professional officer, he has served in all levels of command within the Philippine Army and within the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Zagala added.
“We are confident as the 45th chief of staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines, he will bring the AFP to new heights,” he said.
Bautista will be 56 on July 20, the mandatory age of retirement in the military service.