DAVAO CITY: General Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd, retired from service on Saturday leaving his post as commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command which he held for 12 months.
Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1982 takes over Cruz’s post.
Cruz a member of PMA Class 80 is credited for the capture of four of the most notorious leaders of the communist New People’s Army who operate in his area of responsibility.
During his stint, some 247 rebels returned to the fold of law through the “Guns for Peace Program” that he aggressively pursued under the “Oplan Bayanihan”.
He was also responsible for the capture of two wanted front secretaries and two other regional secretaries of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Under his leadership, the Eastern Mindanao Command was also ad-judged as the “Best Unified Command” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last year.