Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
December 7, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administered the appointment of Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año as the new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP) during the AFP Change of Command Ceremony and Testimonial Review in honor of the outgoing CSAFP Gen. Ricardo Visaya at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

In his speech, the President stressed the seriousness of the problem brought by the illegal drug industry in the country, as 92% of the barangays and almost three million people were reported as being contaminated by illegal drugs.

“The PNP was a fractured organization. There were so many men and officers involved in drug industry… The reason why I declared a state of lawlessness so that I can call upon you, the Armed Forces, to help the civilian sector, to help the police. Hindi nila kaya ‘to,” he said.

During the ceremony, the new CSAFP ensured a competent performance and vowed to lead a transformation with fervor to realize the vision of a strong, modern and credible AFP.

“We are mandated to protect the sovereignty and integrity of our national territory. I am determined to lead the AFP in this endeavor by pushing forward the parallel and complementing modernization of our internal security and territorial defense capabilities,” Lt. Gen. Año said.

He added that he would further strengthen the unity through joint actions and lead the AFP in the sustainment of operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and other national and local terrorist groups. Moreover, Lt. Gen. Año talked on his plans of enhancing international defense agreement, helping in eradicating the drug menace in the country, and improving humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities through inter-agency cooperation during calamities.

In his remarks, the outgoing CSAFP Gen. Visaya reported before the President the accomplishments of the AFP under his leadership.

“Peace and security targets have been met through hard work and teamwork of the men and women of AFP,” he said.

Gen. Visaya spelled out the intensification of the AFP’s efforts to reach the culmination phase of the Internal Peace and Security Plan, the utilization of the focused military operations, the intensified stakeholders’ engagements, the declaration of three more provinces as conflict-manageable and ready for further development, and the new aircrafts to be used for maritime issues and disaster response.

“It is with pride that we declare that in the conduct of focused military operations, the AFP has strictly observed and adhered to human rights, international humanitarian law and the rules of engagement. Every effort has been done to ensure that there is no collateral damage,” he added.

Gen. Visaya also said that the AFP has been conferred an institutionalized status under the performance and governance system.

“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith,” he concluded.

The ceremony was witnessed by some of the former Presidents of the Philippines, members of the diplomatic corps, Cabinet secretaries, and military and police officials.

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