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A president Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo era Armed Forces chief of staff has been tapped as national security adviser by incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.

The appointee is none other than Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who headed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from July 2006 to May 2008.

Duterte bared his choice of Esperon a few days after the latter was seen in the company of the president-in-waiting’s well-wishers at Matina Enclaves in Davao City.

In 2010, the former Arroyo official ran for a House seat in Pangasinan. He lost.

Esperon has been exactly operation under the radar, though. A few weeks ago, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV slammed the former AFP brass for aligning himself with Duterte despite the outgoing Davao City mayor’s friendliness toward the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The CPP, through its military arm the New People’s Army (NPA), has long been battling the state in a bloody struggle that has killed countless soldiers.

Former Navy lieutenant Trillanes, a Duterte critic, called Esperon “shameless” for doing so. (Samantha A. Giron)

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