Pres. Duterte is ill-advised in appointing General Eduardo Año as AFP Chief of Staff


Arman “Ka. Arms” Guerrero
NDFP-Rizal Province

Pres. Duterte is ill-advised in appointing General Eduardo Año as AFP Chief of Staff. a known human rights violator, promoter of extra-judicial killing and a rabid fanatic of known “Butcher” General Jovito Palparan and a drug protector. He must instead be prosecuted for his crimes against the people.

General Eduardo Año hails from San Mateo, Rizal. He comes from a family of a lower middle class origin but now belongs to the wealthy and most affluent families of San Mateo, Rizal. He acquired his wealth from the unlimited funds he pocketed from the AFP as intelligence officer, first as head of the 16th Intelligence Unit-Inteliigence Service Group (ISU-ISG-PA), then as head of Inteliigence Security Group (ISG-PA), head of Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) and head of 10th Infantry Division. He used his intelligence office to protect drug lords utilizing the offices of Military Inteligence Group (MIG-ISAFP). The arrest of Military Intelligence Group Region 4 (MIG-4-ISAFP-AFP) Commanding Officer Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Macelino by PDEA Agents in Sta. Cruz, Manila while in possession of 76,697.7 grams of shabu worth over P380-million will confirm this. To evade arrest, Col. Marcelino showed a mission order signed and verbally confirmed by then Army Chief Gen. Eduardo Año.

Previous terstimonies of military personnel under Gen. Eduardo Año also prove that he is one of the crooked AFP Generals who involves in illegal activities to fatten their bourse. In 1998, Philippine Army Captain Reynaldo Panaguiton Cruz III, an intelligence officer under then Major Eduardo Año of 16th ISU-ISG-PA, tried but failed to infiltrate the NPA unit operating in Rizal Province. He was apprehended and eventually tried for his crimes against the people by the People’s Democratic Go avernment led by CPP-NPA-NDFP. While in custody, Capt. Reynaldo Cruz, narrated to his captors all information regarding 16th ISU-ISG-PA. He testified how General Año stole from the AFP coffers and pocketed the intelligence funds and involved himself in illigal activities including protecting drug lords in the guise of intelligence projects to enrich himself. From then on, General Año and his family becomes richer and richer until they become one the most affluent families in San Mateo, Rizal up to the present. He’s not different from the past head honchos of AFP. He is an epitome of an AFP officer who uses his position in the AFP to enrich himself with his family living comfortably in mansion while his men, the ordinary foot soldiers, are languishing in poverty and living in squatters areas.

Gen. Año built his career as AFP officer by rabidly following the extra-judicial methods and style of “Butcher” Gen. Jovito Palparan in dealing with perceived enemies of the reactionary state. He is also a diehard implementor of anti-people counter-insurgency plan Oplan Bantay Laya I&II under the much hated GM Arroyo Regime and Oplan Bayanihan of BS Aquino Regimes which the AFP wants to continue under the present Duterte Regime. Whenever and wherever he is deployed, human rights violations and extra judicial killings surges. When he was assigned in Rizal Province in 1996 as head of 16th ISU-ISG-PA, his unit was responsible for illegal arrest and detention of farmers and Dumagat tribesmen in the province of Rizal. When he became the head of ISG-PA, he was involved in the April 2007 abduction and enforced disappearance of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos, son of the late world press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr. When he became the 201st Brigade-PA Commander in Quezon Province, he was involved in the harrassment of farmers and ordinary civilians in South Quezon and the 2012 massacre of suspected NPA rebels in San Narciso , Quezon. When he was assigned as 10th ID-PA commander, Año was behind the Paquibato “massacre” in June 2015, where three lumad civilians were killed and a 12-year-old was wounded.

Gen. Año’s assumption as AFP chief of staff is a clear signal that human rights violations, abductions and extra-judicial killings will continue unabated. Dead bodies will pile up and numbers of missing/abducted persons will rise. AFP’s drug protection racket will continue under Gen. Año’s order. Marine Lt. Col. Marcelino, a known protégé and bagman on illegal drug protection of Gen. Año will go scot-free. Drug lords will also remain free under military protection while small time drug pushers and users will be bearing the brunt of Duterte’s war against drugs.

Pres. Duterte must immediately recall Gen. Año’s appointment as AFP chief of staff. He must instead prosecute Gen. Año’s for his crime against the people and his drug involvement. The Duterte Regime must uphold, protect and defend the fundamental human rights of Filipinos, especially the marginalized and oppressed. If not, the Filipino people will!

The revolutionary movement in Rizal province will support the people’s opposition to any anti-people policies of the Duterte government. The Duterte Regime must heed the voice of the workers, farmers, urban poor, the marginalzed sectors and other democratic forces for change. Pres. Duterte must ensure that indeed, change has come under his presidency. If not, the Duterte regime will go down to the dustbin of history as not different from the previous regimes before him, from Marcos Dictatorship to BS Aquino Regime– one that is scorned and much hated by the Filipino People!