Duterte names Army chief Centino as next AFP chief

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2021   •   366

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has designated Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Andres Centino as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang said Friday.

“We confirm that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved and signed the designation of LGEN Andres Centino as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) effective November 12, 2021,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Centino will replace General Jose Faustino Jr. who is retiring from service as he reaches the mandatory age of 56.

“We are confident that Gen. Centino will continue the initiatives of his predecessors to bring lasting peace and development in the country while securing the State and upgrading our defense capability,” Roque said.

“We wish the success of Gen. Centino in his new role as AFP Chief,” he added.

Centino is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Maringal Class of 1988.

Meanwhile, the AFP said Centino’s designation “will prompt an upward movement in the AFP leadership that will further inspire our soldiers to surpass challenges with excellence and continue our campaign towards genuine transformation.”

“He has immense knowledge and experience in leading our troops on the ground and in supporting peaceful efforts to protect our people against various threats,” AFP spokesperson Colonel Ramon Zagala said in a separate statement.

“His integrity, management acumen and genuine desire for peace and development make him a competent leader who shall guide the AFP in fulfilling its mission while supporting national efforts to battle the current pandemic,” he added.

Prior to his appointment, Centino served as AFP deputy chief of staff for operations and infantry division commander in Northern Mindanao.

Alleged Daulah Islamiyah leader behind recent Cotabato bus blast killed in gov’t ops

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

An alleged leader of Daulah Islamiyah (DI) terrorist group, who was said to be behind the recent bombing of a passenger bus in North Cotabato, was killed in a manhunt operation over the weekend, the military said.

In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) said the suspect, identified as Norodin Hassan, alias Andot, was known as the emir for military affairs of the Daulah Islamiya.

He was neutralized during an operation conducted by the military and police in Barangay Tonganon, Carmen, North Cotabato on January 15, 2022. Three of his cohorts were also killed during the operation.

 The AFP said Hassan was the planner and perpetrator of the explosion inside a Mindanao Star Bus bombing in Aleosan on January 11, 2022. A five-year-old child was killed and six others were wounded during the incident.

Colonel Jovencio Gonzales, Commander of 602nd Infantry Brigade identified two other slain individuals as Abdonillah Hassan alias Don, and Abdonhack Hassan alias Abdon. The third one has yet to be identified.

The military said firearms and war materials were seized from the suspects, including a 7.62mm M14 Rifle, a caliber 30 M1 Garand Rifle, several rounds of ammunition and magazines of different calibers, analog cellphones, solar panels, ICOM radios, and other subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Since the last quarter of 2021, the AFP said the Joint Task Central neutralized several high-ranking Daulah Islamiyah personalities including Salahuddin Hassan, Emir of Daulah Islamiya – Philippines; alias Adsam, sub-leader of DI; and Asim Karinda alias Abu Azim, newly appointed emir of DI.

Former AFP chief Abadia passes away

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Lisandro Abadia has passed away, the military said Monday.

In a statement, the AFP extended its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Abadia.

“General Abadia served as the CSAFP in the early ‘90s and has paved the way for the professionalization of the military and the return of meritocracy in its promotion system,” the AFP said.

“He also led the AFP Campaign Plan ‘Lambat Bitag’ that significantly decreased the strength of the communist terrorist group,” it added.

Abadia led the AFP from April 1991 to April 1994.

He was a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1962.

The AFP said appropriate military honors will be provided in recognition of the former Chief of Staff’s legacy and sacrifices as a soldier and head of the military.

“Again, we send our deep condolences and sympathies to his family,” it said.

AFP chief Centino tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Andres Centino has contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the military said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP said Centino tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The military did not disclose whether Centino is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

“General Centino is now in an approved isolation facility within Camp Aguinaldo where he will continue to perform his job, albeit in quarantine,” the AFP said.

“He remains in full command of the AFP, supervising all units in carrying out their assigned tasks through all allowed and available means,” it added.

The military said Centino is viewing this situation as an opportunity to remind its personnel to “constantly practice safety measures and follow health protocols to prevent the spread of this disease.”

“The AFP continues to advocate the preservation of our force so that we can effectively perform our mandate to protect the people and secure the state,” it added.

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