Friday, July 1, 2016

Visaya formally takes over helm of AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 1): Visaya formally takes over helm of AFP

Former Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) head Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya was formally installed as the next Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff on Friday afternoon.

Visaya, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1983, replaced classmate Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, who served as AFP chief in acting capacity since April.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte presided in the AFP's change-of-command ceremony which was held at the GHQ Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Also present were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other ranking military leaders.

Miranda was appointed as AFP vice chief-of-staff last March and this paved the way for his designation as acting AFP chief-of-staff due to the ban on appointments in connection with the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.

Prior to his appointment, he was the commander of the Northern Luzon Command.

Miranda led the AFP when it accomplished its mission for a Safe and Secure Fair Elections during the 2016 national and local elections, allowing Filipinos to exercise their right of suffrage as safely and orderly as possible.

Meanwhile, aside from his stint at SOLCOM, Visaya commanded the Cagayan De Oro-based 4th Infantry Division which is responsible for covering and protecting Regions X and XIII.

He also commanded the 104th Infantry Brigade that operated in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Lanao, and Basilan; and the 901st Infantry Brigade in Bicol Region.

Visaya, who is from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, is a highly decorated military officer, earning four Distinguished Service Stars, 11 Bronze Cross Medals, two Silver Wing Medals, and numerous Military Merit and Commendation Medals.

He was also awarded the Cavalier Award for Army Operations, a highly coveted award for PMA alumni, in 2008.

He has sterling performances in the field, complemented by his excellence in various civilian and military trainings and courses he undertook, including the Executive Course on Security Studies in Hawaii, Pacific Army Management Seminar in Tokyo, Professional Managers Program of the Ateneo De Manila University, and Financial Statement Analysis at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Visaya acquired his Master in Project Management at the Australian Defense Force in Canberra, Australia.

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