Friday, August 7, 2009

Sabban to head Marines

A2 WEDNESDAY July 15, 2009
Florante S. Solerin and Joyce Pañares

AN OFFICER who joined the bloodiest coup attempt against President Corazon Aquino in

1989 has been named the new commandant of the Marines. Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, outgoing Task Force Comet commander, assumes his new position on Friday, replacing Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, the incoming head of the Western Mindanao Command whose leader, Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga, is retiring on Thursday. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said President Arroyo signed Sabban's appointment Monday night. Sabban graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1978, and Dolorfino in 1976. President Arroyo has also appointed Manila Regional Trial Court judge Manuel Barrios as associate justice of the Court of Appeals. Barrios was among the judges nominated by the Supreme Court's Judicial and Bar Council to fill the vacancies in the appellate court. Sabban's appointment came in the wake of the release of Italian Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni, who was freed by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu on Sunday. Vagni was kidnapped along with two other Red Cross workers in January, but his co-workers were released in April. Sabban's Comet was tasked to go after the AI Qaida-linked Abu bandits operating in Sulu and Basilan. The military could not immediately give a shortlist of candidates for Sabban's successor.


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