WesMinCom general is next AFP Chief of Staff

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) - Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. has been named new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines' News Night on Thursday.

Galvez will take his oath on April 18 at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Roque said.

He will replace Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, whose term is ending this month. Guerrero reached his compulsory retirement age in December 2017 but President Rodrigo Duterte extended his duty by four months.

Guerrero, who assumed office in October 2017, would serve as Chief of Staff for six months.

Galvez, meanwhile, will retire in December.

A battle-seasoned officer, Galvez was commander of the 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao, where he maintained a ceasefire with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and dealt with hostilities by its breakaway group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

He was also a co-chairman of the Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities where he had open communication lines with the MILF in carrying out a ceasefire deal.

Galvez also fought the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan from 2012 to 2013 when he became the youngest commander of the 104th infantry brigade. He also led military operations during the Zamboanga siege in 2014.