By Francis Wakefield
A total of 51 newly-promoted Generals and Flag Officers led by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., took their oath before President Rodrigo Duterte at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday.
In a press statement, AFP Public Affairs Office chief Col. Noel Detoyato, said the oath-taking ceremony before the Commander-in-Chief is a sign of renewal of commitment by top military officers holding vital positions in the military organization to the Chain of Command and the Constitution.
Detoyato said aside from General Madrigal, the newly-promoted generals who took part in the oath-taking include four Lieutenant Generals and Vice Admiral, 17 Major Generals and Rear Admiral, and 29 Brigadier Generals and Commodore.
Also taking part in the activity were the Unified Commanders who recently received their third star namely Lieutenant Generals Noel S Clement, the Commander of the AFP’s Central Command (CentCom); Felimon T. Santos, Jr., the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom);
Gilbert I. Gapay, the Commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SoLCom); and Vice Admiral Rene V. Medina, the Commander of the Western Command (WestCom).
Detoyato said also present in the oath-taking at the Palace were the Chiefs of the AFP Joint, Personal and Special Staff in the General Headquarters. They were Major Generals Reuben S. Basiao, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2; Cornelio H. Valencia Jr., the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, J5; Antonio G. Parlade Jr, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, J7; Augusto D. Dela Peña, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and Education, J8; Thomas R. Sedaño Jr., the Chief of the Office of Financial Management; and Arnulfo C. Matanguihan, The Inspector General, AFP.
“Several Philippine Army Commanders also took their oath on Monday. They were Major Generals Jose C. Faustino Jr., the Commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division; Byron H. Calimag, the Commander of the Army Support Command; Pablo M. Lorenzo, the Commander of the 5th Infantry Division; Lenard T. Agustin, the Commander of the 7th Infantry Division; and Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, the Commander of the 4th Infantry Division,” Detoyato said.
Detoyato said Philippine Air Force (PAF) Commanders who took their oath before President Duterte were Major Generals Glicerio G Peralta, the Commander of the Tactical Operations Center and Gerald S. Da-Anton, the Commander of Air Defense Command.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy officials on hand were Rear Admiral Loumer P. Bernabe, the Chief of the Naval Staff; Brigadier General Renato P. David, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Malampaya; and Reserve Commodore Carlos C. Buendia, the Commander of the 2nd Technical and Administrative Services Brigade, Northern Luzon Command.
Detoyato said after taking their oath, the military officials participated in the traditional courtesy call at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday morning.
AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Salvador Melchor B Mison Jr who represented Gen. Madrigal, presided over the activity.
“The courtesy call is a customary gesture of respect, loyalty, and adherence to the AFP Chain of Command,” Detoyato said.