Retirements prompting major reshuffle in PH military

MANILA, Philippines—A major reshuffle is looming in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the recent and upcoming retirement of senior officers holding key positions.

Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Davao de Oro province, will soon take the helm of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based in Tarlac.

His appointment papers were signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Jan. 7.

Torres’ new area of jurisdiction will cover Northern and Central Luzon and critical areas Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) and Philippine (Benham) Rise. His predecessor, Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., retired in December. Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo is serving as Nolcom commander in an acting capacity.

Torres is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1989.

Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Alberto Carlos will take the reins of the Western Command (Wescom) in Palawan to replace Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, who will reach the retirement age of 56 on Jan. 24.

Carlos’ new designation was signed by Duterte on Monday (Jan. 17).

As Wescom commander, Carlos, a graduate of US Naval Academy Class of 1989, will oversee the country’s western frontier including the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea.

He will assume leadership as China continues to aggressively enforce its mythical nine-dash line claims over the West Philippine Sea and nearly the entire South China Sea.

The Army’s 11th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, was named as the new AFP Inspector General, replacing Lt. Gen. Nemesio Gacal, who retired in December. Gonzales is a member of PMA Class of 1989.

Navy’s Inspector General Rear Admiral Rommel Anthony Reyes, also a member of PMA Class of 1989, will assume as AFP deputy chief of staff on Feb. 25, after the retirement of Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan.

Navy vice commander Maj. Gen. Nestor Herico, a member of PMA Class of 1988, will take charge as commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps effective Feb. 21, as Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan bows out of service.

TSB

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