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President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief Lieutenant General Felimon Santos as the new head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Santos will replace General Noel Clement, who will retire on January 5.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana shared to the media Santos’ signed appointment papers Thursday (January 2).

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, Santos spent most of his younger years in the military in the 39th Infantry Battalion, a unit deployed in various provinces in Mindanao.

He also headed the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City.

Santos also held the positions of Chief of Operations of Central Command in Visayas; 703rd Infantry Brigade Commander in Central Luzon; Battalion Commander of 63rd Infantry Battalion in Samar Province; and Assistant Division Commander of 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Awang Maguindanao.

Prior to becoming the Eastmincom chief, Santos was the former commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

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