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Ex-Solcom chief named new Philippine Army commander

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay as the new chief of the Philippine Army.

Gapay’s appointment was confirmed by Armed Forces chief General Noel Clement on Wednesday.

Gapay, who belongs to Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, will replace Lieutenant General Macairog Alberto, who is set to retire on December 6.

Gapay was the former head of the Southern Luzon Command.

Prior to his stint in Solcom, he served as commander of the Mechanized Infantry Division in which he had championed the development of armor, aviation, air defense and cyber security capabilities of the Philippine Army.

Gapay also served as the deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command and concurrent commander of Joint Task Force Haribon in December 2016.

The Department of National Defense welcomed the appointment of Gapay as the new chief of the Philippine Army, noting that Gapay brings with him years of dedicated military service and leadership.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, for its part, said Gapay is a well-rounded general officer who has excelled in the domains of operations, training and resource management.

"He has served with distinction various sensitive positions in both garrison and field assignments at the Philippine Army and the general headquarters," AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said. — KBK/RSJ, GMA News