Visaya eyed as next AFP chief

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President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is considering appointing Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya on head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

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In an interview in Davao City on Sunday night, Duterte called Visaya a “vibrant general.”
Visaya is currently the chief of the Southern Luzon Command. He was a top contender for the top AFP post last year.

The AFP is currently led by Acting Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda.
Miranda and Visaya were classmates at the Philippine Military Academy.

Miranda has been acting AFP chief since April 22, 2016 upon the retirement of former military chief Gen. Hernando Irriberi.

Duterte also said that for the next head of the Philippine National Police (PNP), he will choose from the three former Davao City police chiefs.

The candidates are Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, brigade commander of the Reactionary Standby Support Force who was relieved from his post after declaring his support for Duterte on Facebook, Chief Supt. Ramon Apolinario, Mimaropa police officer-in-charge, and Sr. Supt. Rene Aspera, chief of staff of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group.

Duterte said since the three were qualified, he told them to work it out among themselves.
“Wala akong masasabi sa tenure nila [I cannot say anything against their tenure here],” he said. “It was all good.”

Incumbent PNP chief Ricardo Marquez is set to retire in August 2016.

Crush Abu Sayyaf
Visaya said Duterte wants the AFP to totally crush the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and to actively join the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Emerging from a meeting with the Davao City mayor and some retired military and police officials in Davao Sunday night, Visaya said Duterte told him what he wanted the AFP to do.

“Gusto nya na ano mawala yung Abu Sayyaf bago matapos yung term nya (He wants to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf before his term ends),” he said.

Visaya received numerous awards including the Cavalier Award for Army Operations, the most coveted award that a PMA alumnus can receive; Distinguished Service Star, 10 Bronze Cross Medals, two Gawad sa Kaunlaran, 45 Military Merit Medals and 13 Military Commendation Medals among others.

He also earned his Master’s Degree in Project Management at the Australia Defense Force Academy in Canberra, Australia in 2002 and attended the Executive Course at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2006.

Free reign
Meanwhile, incoming party-list representative Harry L. Roque urged leaders of the Liberal Party (LP) to give President Rodrigo Duterte free reign to organize Congress.

“The election results is a complete repudiation of the yellow forces. Speaker Belmonte should now allow Bebot Alvarez to assume speakership rather than be obstructed in this regard,” Roque said.

“Belmonte and his yellow cohorts have had their time and their time is now up. He should allow changes in Congress pursuant to the mandate given by the people to Duterte,” he added.

Roque is the first nominee of the Kabayan party-list.

Roque said Duterte’s presumptive win is a clear indication that the Filipino people do not want more of the same.

“Our kababayans are tired of the yellow way of doing things. In order for true change to happen, the LP must give way,” he said.

“If it is really the people’s welfare they have in mind and not their party’s, then the LP must allow to Duterte to organize Congress,” he added.

Duterte’s PDP-Laban earlier endorsed newly-elected Davao del Norte representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez as next House speaker.

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