Eastmincom chief is Duterte’s fifth AFP Chief of Staff

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 Dec) – President Rodrigo Duterte has named another Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief as the 51st Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP), the fifth Chief of Staff under his 30-month administration.

Eastmincom is based in Davao City, where Duterte, the first Mindanawon to lead the nation, was mayor for 22 years.

Duterte named Eastmincom chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Sandiwa Class” of 1985 as the CSAFP effective December 12, vice his mistah (classmate) General Carlito Galvez who is retiring that day.

Duterte signed Madrigal’s appointment on December 5, the second Eastmincom chief and the fourth commander from a Mindanao command to assume the highest post in the AFP under his 30-month Presidency.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. at the Tactical Operations Group (TOG)-11 in Davao City on November 12, 2018 before boarding a plane for Singapore for the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits. Madrigal, who will assume the post of Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Phlippines on December 12, is the fifth Chief of Staff of the 30-month old Duterte Presidency. Simeon Celi Jr./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Madrigal took over the command of Eastmincom from then Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who assumed the post of CSAFP on October 26, 2017 when Gen. Eduardo Ano turned 56, the mandatory age of retirement for the military.

Guerrero was supposed to have retired on his 56th birthday on December 17, 2017 but in early December, the President extended his term by four months.

Galvez was Western Mindanao Command chief before he assumed the post of CSAFP on April 19 this year.

Madrigal was commander of the Cagayan de Oro-based 4th Infantry Division from March 23, 2016 to August 23, 2017, and from there as Southern Luzon Chief, serving only three months, before moving to Eastmincom.

He assumed the post of Eastmincom chief on November 15, 2017 from

Brig. Gen. Perfecto Rimando, Jr. who was named Acting Eastmincom chief when Guerrero took over from Ano two weeks earlier.

Before becoming CSAFP, Ano was Army chief, and before that, commander of the 10th ID based in Compostela Valley.

Madrigal held major positions in the AFP’s eneral Headquarters as CHief of War Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans; Secretary Joint Staff; Head Executive Assistant from October 2009 to March 2010;  Chief, Management and Fiscal Office of the Philippine Army from March 2010 to July 2013;  Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.

had earlier served as Assistant Division Commander and later Acting Division Commander of the 10th Infantry Division in Compostela Valley, Davao region before becoming Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.

He also held major positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ General Headquarters, among them  as Chief of War Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans; Secretary Joint Staff, AFP; and Head Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff from October 2009 to March 2010; Chief, Management and Fiscal Office of the Philippine Army from March 2010 to July 2013.

He spent several years of his military career in Mindanao, among them as Commanding Officer of the 26th Infantry Battalion in Northeast and Central Mindanao from 2006 to 2008 where his battalion was adjudged the Best Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division;Commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade in Mati, Davao Oriental from July 2013 to February 2015 where his Brigade was adjudged as Best Brigade for 2013-2014;Assistant Division Commander of the 10th Infantry Division from February 10 to July 13, 2015; Commander of the 4th Infantry Division from 23 March 2016 to 23 August 2017 and Commander of the Southern Luzon Command from August 23 to November 2017; and Eastmincom Chief from Nov. 15, 2017.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. (center), chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, shares a light moment with mistah Gen. Carlito Galvez, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim (L) during the Eid’l Fitr celebration with President Duterte on 16 June 2018 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao CIty. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

Duterte’s first Chief of Staff was Gen. Ricardo Visaya who served from July 1 to December 7, 2016. Ano served from December 7, 2016 to October 26, 2017, Guerrero from October 26, 2017 to April 19, 2018 followed by Galvez who will retire on December 12.

After their retirement as Chief of Staff, Visaya was named Adminsitrator of the National Irrigation Administration; Ano as Secretary of Local Governments while Guerrero was named chief of the Maritime Industry Authority but was moved to head the corruption-plagued Bureau of Custom in late October this year.

Galvez, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on December 5, will be appointed to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, but it is not clear if he will take over the post of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process held by Jesus Dureza who resigned on November 27 following the President’s firing of two of his undersecretaries for alleged corruption. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

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