• AFP top level reshuffle looms

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    ORGANIZATIONAL changes looms as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) prepares for another reshuffle with the approaching mandatory retirement of two of its top senior generals.

    Scheduled to retire are Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom) chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz and Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) commander Lt. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, who will step down on September 5 and September 8, respectively.

    AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad has been named as Cruz’s successor while Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya will replace Orodoyo.

    Baladad, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandigan” Class of 1982, is the current commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) based in Capiz province.

    Before becoming 3ID commander, Baladad served as the deputy chief of staff for operations, J3; and acting commander of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division; commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion and 202nd Brigade both stationed in Rizal.

    Visaya, a member of PMA “Matikas” Class of 1983, is the current commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City.

    Visaya is a former brigade commander of two significant brigades in the Army – the 104th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division that operated in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Lanao Provinces and Basilan.

    He also headed the 901st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division in the Bicol Region; and was assistant division commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Cotabato.

    Zagala said the AFP leadership is confident that Baladad and Visaya are more than capable of handling their new assignments owing to their vast experience, particularly in the area of anti-insurgency campaign.

    “Their professionalism and dedication have been proven effective in battling insurgency” Zagala added.

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