MAJ. Gen. Aurelio Baladad will assume today as the new commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, replacing Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Saturday.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. will preside the turnover of command ceremony at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.
Baladad, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandigan” Class of 1982, is at present the commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3rd ID) based in Capiz province.
Before assuming as 3rd ID commander, he served as the deputy chief of staff for operations, J3; as acting commander of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division; and commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion and 202nd Brigade, both stationed in Rizal province.
Also set to retire is Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lt. Gen. Caesar Ordoyo, who will reach his 56th birthday on Monday ( September 8).
Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya will replace Ordoyo as new Solcom chief.
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 (Misamis Oriental province).
The retirement of Cruz and Ordoyo brings to nine the total number of senior generals who retired this year, including former chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who stepped down last July 20, and the chiefs of the three major commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
First to retire this year was Army chief Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes (February 7), followed by Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalio Cruz (April 30), Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano (May 1.)
Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Alan Luga (May 12), PMA Supt. Vice Admiral Edgar Abogado (February 16) and Western Command chief Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda (August17).