Duterte’s appointment of Santos tantamount only to intensified attacks

Photo courtesy of Philippine Army

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr. as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines after Lieutenant General Noel Clement retired from service today, January 4, 2020.

Santos graduated at the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” class of 1986, together with neophyte Senator Ronald Dela Rosa and the controversial former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde.

Prior to his appointment, Santos is the current Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief since January 2019 and leads the counter-insurgency programs in Davao, Soccksargen, and Caraga regions.

Santos is responsible for the killings of two Lumad, namely, Tandel Gallego and Emel Tejero, who was accused by the military as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last January 31, 2019.

During his stint, farmers from Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Caraga, Rolando Egtob and Josephine Egtob were killed on their farm because of the Butuan City Police Office assumed them as members of NPA last December 2, 2019.

Meanwhile, on December 13, 2019, Santos was implicated again for the killings of four civilians, including a senior citizen and disabled person in Davao de Oro.

Santos will only serve for seven months for he will reach the mandatory age retirement next year.

Santos reiterated in his interview that as he takes over the new position, he will strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 70, especially in Mindanao.

Duterte, who missed some of his important events the past few days because he needed to rest, leads the AFP ceremony.

Given the atrocities of Santos, we might be expecting a much more brazen of bloodshed, widespread killings, and attacks on the people's democratic rights.

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