Catapang new Nolcom commander
He will replace Lt Gen Anthony Alcantara, who is retiring

MANILA, Philippines – Two military officers who in their youth joined the military revolt against the Marcos dictatorship will be holding turn-over ceremonies on Friday, July 5, with one replacing the other.

Maj Gen Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr will assume command of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based in Camp Aquino in Tarlac on Friday, July 5, to replace Lt Gen Anthony Alcantara, who is retiring, according to Camp Aguinaldo sources.

Alcantara, a 1979 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, served as Nolcom commanding general for more than a year. He’s one of the few former Constabulary officers who decided to join the Army when the Philippine Constabulary was abolished to give way to the creation of the Philippine National Police in the 1990s.

A former aide for ex-President Fidel V Ramos, Alcantara was a member of the Constabulary’s Special Action Force that withdrew support from then President Ferdinand Marcos during the 1986 February revolt.

RETIRING. Nolcom chief Lt Gen Anthony Alcantara

Catapang, on the other hand, belonged to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement that plotted the revolt against Marcos. He was part of the EDSA rebel force that secured the Radio Veritas station in Quezon City, that was used by the mutinous units to broadcast their anti-Marcos propaganda.

Catapang is currently commanding general of the 7th infantry division based in Nueva Ecija. He used to be the operations chief of Nolcom.

Prior to his Nolcom stint, Alcantara was the deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and was once a contender both for the posts of Army and AFP chief.

He was the commander of the Army’s 6th infantry division that led operations against followers of the Ampatuans in the aftermath of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre. –


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