A veteran military intelligence officer has been chosen as the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the 7th top military man appointed by President Duterte since July 2016.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1986, Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. is currently the commanding general of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City.
After his graduation in the PMA, Santos spent his junior years with the 39th Infantry Battalion, an Army unit deployed in various provinces in Mindanao.
Based on the military dossier, Santos is described as “adept in wide range peace and security programs not only in Mindanao but in the whole country, having been assigned with the strategic offices of the AFP dealing with Operations, Intelligence, and Civil-Military Operations”.
But it is in the spying that Santos is well-known.
He once headed the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City and subsequently became the Group Commander of the Army’s Intelligence Service Group.
Santos also became the Chief of Operations of the Central Command in the Visayas and also once headed the 703rd Infantry Brigade in Central Luzon.
He also served as a Battalion Commander of 63rd Infantry Battalion in Samar Province, and Assistant Division Commander of 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Datu Odin Sinsuat in Awang Maguindanao.
Aside from Operations and Intelligence, Santos has also an extensive experience in Civil-Military Operations, having been assigned with Civil Relations Service, AFP and leading the former Civil-Military Operations Group of the Philippine Army.
He also led the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Laur, Palayan, Nueva Ecija prior to is assumption as Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police, said that the entire PMA Sinagtala Class 1986 is proud of the appointment of Santos as the next AFP chief of staff.
“As a matter of fact, the entire active Sinagtalans of the PNP will be there on Saturday to witness and we hope for him the best and we will be in support of his leadership,” said Gamboa.
Gamboa is a member of the PMA Class 1986, along with former PNP chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Oscar Albayalde.
The change of command from Gen. Noel Clement to Santos will be on Saturday. (Aaron Recuenco)