Reshuffle in key PH military posts as Año's retirement looms
MANILA, Philippines – Retirements triggered movements of key officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), marking the beginning of leadership reshuffle as the retirements of AFP chief General Eduardo Año and other high-ranking generals loom over the military.
Two major commands and the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) are among those that welcomed new chiefs two to 3 months before the scheduled retirements
New guard of the West PH Sea
Major General Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr is the new commander of the Western Command (Wescom), the unit responsible over Palawan and the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). He assumed the post after the retirement of Lieutenant General Raul del Rosario on August 11.
Kintanar also assumed the post as concerns are raised over China's renewed agressiveness in the disputed seas. Its fleet are discovered too close to Pag-asa (Thitu) island, one of the biggest naturally occuring islands in the area that is occupied by the Philippines.
Kintanar received advanced training in the US and Australia. He took a Squadron Officer course in Alabama USA and later pursued his Defense and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defense College in Canberra and Deakin University.
Solcom, ISAFP, 4th ID
Major General Benjamin Madrigal Jr is the new commander of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom), the unit tasked to make sure the communist rebels are not able to regain its former strongholds in the area.
Solcom was recently placed on alert as clashes with the rebels resumed following collapse of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) representing them in the negotiators.
Madrigal was the former commander of the 4th Infantry Division (ID) based in Cagayan De Oro, one of the cities the military are closely watching as war rages against local terror groups linked with the international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).
Madrigal has a Masters Degree in Management Studies from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
The 4th ID is now led by Major General Ronald Villanueva, who is returning to his former area of operation. He served as the division's chief of staff from 2012 to 2014 after serving various intelligence posts there.
Villanueva relinquished his post as chief spy of the Philippine military to Brigadier General Macairog Alberto, who was plucked from the 1001st Infantry Brigade of the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division. – Rappler.com