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Duterte picks PMA topnotcher as new Army chief



Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay has been appointed by President Duterte as the next commanding general of the Philippine Army, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana bared yesterday.

A designation paper dated Dec. 2 from the Office of the President showed that Gapay, the commander of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command, was picked by Duterte to lead the 98,000-strong Army, the biggest among the three primary service units of the AFP.

Gapay will replace Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 tomorrow. Gapay is part of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986 and graduated on top of his class.

Prior to leading the Solcom, he served as the deputy commander of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command which is based in Davao City; commander of Joint Task Force Haribon which secured Davao City and the rest of Davao region, and the spokesperson of martial law implementation in Mindanao.

He also commanded the Mechanized Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, had earlier said that five generals have been recommended by the Board of Generals to Duterte to be the next Army chief. (Martin A. Sadongdong)