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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aquino appoints 2 military commanders to Solcom, Eastmincom

Published in

The online news portal of TV5

The 4th Infantry Division (ID) commander, Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, and 3rd ID commander Maj. General Aurelio Baladad will assume their new positions as commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) and Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), respectively, according to Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matikas” Class of 1983, Visaya had recently survived an aircraft crash together with his Division Inspector General, Col. Alexander Macario, and several aides of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. They were riding a brand-new Polish-made Sokol helicopter when its engines stopped midair some 50 meters after takeoff in Marawi City.

Visaya will assume command at SOLCOM based in Lucena City on September 8, at the retirement and turnover ceremony of outgoing SOLCOM commander LtGen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo.

Replacing Visaya at the 4th ID is Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (J3) Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao (PMA “Maharlika” Class ’84). Lactao will be replaced by Brig. Gen. Angelito de Leon (PMA Class ’84), current chief of Command Center of the Armed Forces.

Visaya formerly commanded the 104th Brigade based in Mindanao and 901st Brigade based in Bicol before becoming the assistant division commander of the 6th ID based in Mindanao.

Visaya is viewed in some sectors as having the potential for becoming the next Chief of Staff. 

 A senior officer who requested anonymity said Visaya “is highly being considered by the President to become the successor of AFP chief Gen. Catapang when he retires next year."

The general and the President "worked together very silently. The general was the battalion commander in Tarlac who pacified the picketing farmers at the Hacienda Luisita,” said the senior officer.

Meanwhile, Baladad (PMA “Sandigan” Class ’82) will replace outgoing Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III. Baladad will be replaced by Army chief of Staff. Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero (PMA ’84).

Baladad used to head J3 and was acting commander of the Army’s 9th ID.

“While Major Generals Baladad and Visaya are often hit by enemy propaganda, the AFP is confident that they are more than able to take charge of more sensitive positions in the AFP.

Their professionalism and dedication to their duty and their active campaign to curb insurgency in their areas of responsibility have proven effective in battling the effects of insurgency, and in crippling down the enemy from conducting violence and atrocities against our people,” Catapang said.

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III has approved the appointment of two senior military commanders to a higher area command, a three-star position, based in Mindanao and Luzon.

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