President Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed a Davao-based military officer as the new Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff.

Eastern Mindanao Command Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero will be the next AFP chief of staff, replacing General Eduardo M. Año who will be retiring on Oct. 26 as he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 today.

In a letter dated Oct. 25, addressed to Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Mr. Duterte approved Mr. Guerrero as the new AFP chief.

“I wish to inform you that, per your letter endorsement and in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief of the Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Chairman, AFP Board of Generals, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8186, as amended by Republic Act No. 9188, the designation of Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero O-8951 ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES as Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines vice GENERAL EDUARDO M. AÑO O-8678 AFP is hereby APPROVED effective October 25, 2017,” the letter reads.

Mr. Guerrero is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Maharlika Class of 1984. He is the chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, tasked to oversee Davao region, Caraga, and parts of SOCCKSKSARGEN.

Mr. Duterte will lead the turnover ceremony at 3pm today at AFP Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. — Rosemarie A. Zamora