7 Army officers promoted
Newly promoted Army generals donned their new star ranks at Fort Bonifacio on Monday.
Promoted to Brigadier General included the commander of Presidential Security Group, Joselito Bautista.
He was the commander of the Army’s 104th Brigade in Basilan when the Moroccan militant Mohammad Khattab was killed in clashes last April.
It was also during his stint in Basilan when 18 soldiers and five members of the Abu Sayyaf were killed in clashes also last April.
Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Light Reaction Regiment, the Army’s lead counter-terrorist unit, was also promoted to Brigadier General.
Macario, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, was charged with violating Articles of War for the bloody Al-Barka clash in 2011.
Nineteen members of the Special Forces were killed in the operation during an encounter between the Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Basilan.
He was immediately relieved of his post as the chief of Special Operations Task Force Basilan. He was later acquitted by a court martial.
Also promoted to Brigadier General were Col. Casiano Monilla, commander of the 10th Infantry Division; Col. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade; and Col. Cesar Idio, assistant division commander of the 8th Infantry Division.
Brigadier Generals Edgar Gonzales, commander of the Mechanized Infantry Division and Harold Cabreros, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, were promoted to Major General.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano led the donning of ranks to the newly promoted senior officers.
“Bearing a star on one’s soldier symbolizes the pennant of a fruitful military career after overcoming bumps and obstacles along the way. Your new rank testifies to the trust and confidence of the command in your ability to manage greater responsibilities befitting the stars on your shoulder,” said Año.
He also reminded the officers that that their core competency was still warfighting, but at the same time they would support the Philippine National Police’s campaign against drugs and all forms of criminality. JE/rga
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