(2nd UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte is tapping retired Armed Forces chief of staff General Ricardo Visaya as the new head of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced Tuesday in a chance interview that Visaya will replace Peter Laviña, who resigned as NIA chief last week amid allegations of corruption.
This was later confirmed by Duterte in a separate interview.
Visaya, a member of the Philippine Military Academy "Matikas" Class of 1983, retired as the 48th AFP chief last December. He was succeeded by General Eduardo Año.
Before heading the 125,000-strong Armed Forces, Visaya served as chief of the Southern Luzon Command, assistant division commander of the 6th Infantry Division in Cotabato, and commander of the 104th Brigade in Sultan Kudarat.
He was also the ground commander in Tarlac and Pampanga when the Hacienda Luisita massacre happened in 2004.
-- With reports from Ernie Manio and Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News