Negrense Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado is taking over the command of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines today, 44 days ahead of the scheduled retirement of his predecessor, Gen. Alexander Yano.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is officiating the turnover of command from Yano to Ibrado 11 a.m. today at Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, military spokesman Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres said.
Ibrado, 55, is the 39th AFP chief of staff.
Yano has opted for early retirement after Arroyo named him Philippine ambassador to Brunei.
Ibrado said it is a great honor and privilege for him to be chosen as the AFP chief of staff.
Yano is supposedly scheduled to retire June 13. Military records show that no AFP chief in recent years has relinquished his position ahead of retirement.
Ibrado said he will continue the programs of his predecessor. “Everything is already there. We just have to implement or execute his plans. If there is a need to change some of it, then we will do that definitely”, he added.
Ibrado is expected to hang his military uniform March 10 next year, upon reaching the mandatory age of retirement, which is 56.
He served as commander of the 11th Infantry Battalion and 303rd Infantry Brigade in Negros Island, before he occupied more sensitive positions in the AFP.
Senator Rodolfo Biazon, former AFP chief, and his son, Rep. Ruffy Biazon, House committee chairman on National Security, are urging Arroyo to extend the tour of duty of Ibrado, saying it would be best if the AFP has stable leadership during the synchronized elections next year. *GPB