AFP intel chief named new Eastmincom head

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    THE Armed Forces’ top intelligence officer has been designated as the new commander of an Army division leading the campaign against the communist New People’s Army in the Davao region.

    AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao took over the helm of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley on Saturday afternoon during rites presided over by Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay.

    Basiao, a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1988, succeeded Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino who earlier assumed command of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.

    The top Eastmincom post was vacated by Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. who assumed command as AFP chief on January 4, replacing now retired Gen. Noel Clement.

    The military establishment has yet to announce a successor for Basiao. The AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence supervises the Intelligence Service of the AFP or ISAFP.

    Before assuming the post as AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence last year, Basiao was commander of the Army’s 701st Brigade operating in the Davao region.

    Gapay said he expects the 10th ID, under the command of Basiao, to do its part to en d the insurgency problem before the end of the term of President Duterte, the AFP’s commander-in-chief, in June 2022.

    “We count on the Agila division to accomplish its part in our President’s directive of ending the communist insurgency permanently by 2022,” said Gapay, referring to the 10th ID.

    “Adhere always to the highest levels of professionalism and excellence. (The) Philippine Army will support all throughout as it fulfills its mandate of continuously capacitating Army forces towards greater mission effectiveness,” added Gapay.

    Basiao vowed to introduce measures to allow the division to achieve its mission.

    “We will continue to adopt innovative approaches, and evolve to overcome whatever challenges posed before this division. (We) will collectively strive for excellence as we carry out the unit’s mission with vigor and passion,” said Basiao.

    More re-assignments are expected in the AFP in the coming days or weeks.

    The post of AFP deputy chief of staff for operations remains vacant with the assumption of Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade as the commander of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command in Lucena City over a week ago. The top Solcom post was vacated by Gapay last month.

    The Air Force’s Air Logistics Command also remains without a permanent commander with its former head, Maj. Gen. Allen Paredes, tapped to replace now retired Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez.

    On Feb. 3, Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad is due to reach the mandatory retirement age of 56.

    Several officers are being considered to succeed Empedrad, including Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, commander of the Philippine Fleet, a major unit of the Philippine Navy.

    Also in contention to succeed Empedrad are Naval Sea Systems Command chief Rear Adm.

    Rommel Jason Galang; Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command chief Rear Adm.

    Loumer Bernabe; Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief Rear Adm. Erick Kagaoan; AFP deputy chief of staff for reservist and retiree affairs Rear Adm. Roberto Enriquez; and AFP Education, Training and Doctrine Command chief Rear Adm. Adelius Bordado.