by Jefferson Antiporda Published in manilatimes.net
THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Gregorio Catapang’s promotion to four-star general.
Aside from getting no opposition from any member of the commission, Catapang was also commended in connection with the successful escape of Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights in Syria.
Catapang is a graduate of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1981 and was appointed as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last July succeeding his “mistah,” the now retired Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.
During his confirmation hearing, Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th and Cgayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez praised Catapang’s leadership and his decisive handling of the Golan Heights standoff that resulted in what many called as a “great escape.”
Rodriguez said the decision of Filipino peacekeepers not to heed the order of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (Undof) commander to lay down their arms and instead hold their ground and wait for a proper opportunity to escape unharmed shows how good Catapang is as chief of the Philippine military.
“Gen. Catapang has indeed been a leader of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by doing all these moves. Because of that, I believe there should be the proper commendation given to him,” Rodriguez said
Trillanes said the bravery displayed by 40-man peacekeeping team in Syria deserves a reward and he asked the AFP chief to look in the possibility of granting them combat promotions.
The CA also confirmed the promotions of 51 senior officers of the AFP including seven generals namely Lt. Gen. John Bonafos, Major Generals Victor Bayani and Edwin Remotigue and Brigadier Generals Inocencio Mayangao, Angelito de Leon, Arnold Mancita and Irma Almoneda.