EASTERN Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) commander Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr. is the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP).
On January 2, President Rodrigo Duterte, Army’s commander-in-chief, approved the appointment of Santos as AFP’s next chief of staff as per the endorsement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, chair of the AFP Board of Generals (BOG).
“I wish to inform you that per your letter-endorsement and in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chairman, AFP Board of Generals, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8186, as amended by Republic Act No. 9188, the designation of Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Junior 0-9540 Armed Forces of the Philippines as Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines vice General Noel Clement 0-9265 AFP is hereby approved effective January 5, 2020,” the letter read.
Santos will take over the post of General Noel Clement who will step down on January 5 when he reached his military retirement at 56.
The newly-appointed AFP chief of staff is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sinagtala” Class of 1986. Prior to his assumption as chief of Eastmincom in January 2019, he was also designated as the commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Laur, Palayan, Nueva Ecija.
He previously headed the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City and became the Group Commander of Intelligence Service Group, Philippine Army.
He spent his junior years with the 39th Infantry Battalion, a unit deployed in various provinces in Mindanao, after graduating at the PMA in 1986.
Santos is also a former chief of operations of Central Command in the Visayas, commander of 703rd Infantry Brigade in Central Luzon, battalion commander of 63rd Infantry Battalion in Samar Province and assistant division commander of 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in DOS, Awang Maguindanao.
“The Command takes pride in the appointment of Lt. Gen Santos Jr. as the New CSAFP. In his assumption, we will be looking forward for the continuous implementation of the peace initiatives that will bring continuing stability and peaceful environment,” Eastmincom Public Information Office (PIO) chief Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey said on Santos’ designation.
During his stint as the Eastmincom commander, the command made achievements in its fight against insurgency in their jurisdiction with the surrender of 696 regular New People’s Army (NPA) members, the arrest of 85, and the death of 56 rebels during different encounters. The army said this led to the decrease in rebel incidents in Eastern Mindanao. (JCR)