Ex-AFP chief Oban heads VFA body

Oban replaces Edilberto Adan, who resigned for unknown reasons

NEW POST: File photo of Former AFP chief General Eduardo Oban taking his oath before President Benigno Aquino III. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines – Former Armed Forces chief retired general Eduardo Oban was appointed new executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Malacañang announced on Saturday, February 22.

He replaced Edilberto Adan, a retired Army general, who resigned for unclear reasons. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said she did not why Adan quit.

The commission monitors compliance with the VFA of rotating US troops in the Philippines including the entry and movement of US assets. It’s also tasked to protect public health, the preservation of the environment, and the prosecution of offenses that may be committed during activities under the VFA.

Prior to his appointment, Oban was undersecretary at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Replacing him at DOTC is Edwin Lopez, former DOTC assistant secretary who served as chief of staff of then Cavite representative and now DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya from 2010 to 2012.

Like Oban, Lopez is also a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and was director for logistics at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency from 2009 to 2010.

Military deal

Oban’s appointment comes as the Philippines and the US are close to finalizing a military-to-military agreement increasing the presence of US troops in the Philippines and giving them more access to Philippine military bases.

The new agreement is set to skip Senate ratification because it is supposedly a simple implementation of the VFA.

As executive director, Oban will report directly to the President. He wil have “direct operational and supervisory authority over personnel from the concerned government agencies who may from time to time be detailed to the Commission to provide technical and administrative support.” 

Oban, a 1979 PMA graduate, served as Armed Forces chief of staff for 9 months from March 2011 to November of the same year.– Rappler.com

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