CA confirms AFP chief Visaya, 24 others despite SALN 'issues'
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments confirmed the appointment of Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya and 24 other military officials on Wednesday, September 21.
Visaya, who will serve as AFP chief until December 8 only, was confirmed without any opposition from the body.
While this is the case, San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, however, raised some issues involving the military’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN).
“Some of you have made mistakes. Some of you did not file correct SALNs. Some of you did not include transactions that should be included. All of these are in a report, which I will send to each one of you,” Zamora said during the hearing of the CA panel on national defense.
These, however, are mere “issues” and not "formal" dissent.
“Even if there is no opposition to your appointment, there are some issues being raised about your nominations. (These are) not formal oppositions, these are issues,” he added.
Visaya, for his part, said they would “rectify” the errors.
“Kumpleto naman ‘yan kaya lang minsan yung pagkafill-up, nagkaproblema,” he told reporters after the hearing.
(That's complete but sometimes we have problems with how they were filled out.)
Visaya, who was the Army battalion commander during the 2004 bloody clashes with Hacienda Luisita workers, was appointed on July 1, 2016. He is set to retire on December 8, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 for the military.
Despite the short stint, Visaya is confident he can neutralize the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf based in Mindanao, which has been involved mostly in kidnap-for-ransom activities. He said he would channel all his energy in his last 3 months as AFP chief to fight them. (READ: AFP chief vows to 'decimate' Abu Sayyaf in 3 months)
Beyond Hacienda Luisita, Visaya is said to be an effective counter-insurgency commander. He was closely associated with his superior at the time, the now detained Major General Jovito Palparan, who was 7th Infantry Division chief in charge of Army units in Central Luzon.
Palparan faces various charges of human rights violations allegedly committed under the Arroyo administration.
Other confirmed military officers
The CA also confirmed the following officers:
1. Alexander Macario – to the grade of Brigadier General
2. Jonathan Manuel – to the grade of Colonel, Medical Corps
3. Dante Hidalgo – to the grade of Brigadier General
4. Salvador Melchor Mison Jr – to the grade of Lieutenant General
5. Ramon Ochoco – to the grade of Commodore
6. Virme Torralba – to the grade of Rear Admiral
7. Raul Del Rosario – to the grade of Lieutenant General
8. Ernesto Enriquez – to the grade of Rear Admiral
9. Leandro Loyao III – to the grade of Brigadier General
10. Antonio Ramon Lim – to the grade of Brigadier General
11. Rommel Jude Ong – to the grade of Commodore
12. Allan Ferdinand Cusi – to the grade of Commodore
13. Arnel Duco – to the grade of Brigadier General
14. Felimon Santos Jr – to the grade of Brigadier General
15. Jose Ariel Niembra – to the grade of Colonel, Philippine Army
16. Narciso Vingson Jr – to the grade of Rear Admiral
17. Rozzano Briguez – to the grade of Major General
18. Jose Mirandilla Jr – to the grade of Major General
19. Rolando Acop – to the grade of Brigadier General
20. Cesar Idio – to the grade of Brigadier General
21. Allen Paredes – to the grade of Brigadier General
22. Harold Cabreros – to the grade of Major General
23. Ronald Villanueva – to the grade of Brigadier General
24. Arthur Blanca – to the grade of Brigadier General – Rappler.com