SENIOR military officers are set to be reshuffled to key positions owing to mandatory retirements and other circumstances.
Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Armed Forces chief of staff, has convened the Board of Generals (BOG) to draw the list of candidates for designation to higher positions.
The other members of the BOG are the Armed Forces vice chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Alan Luga; the deputy chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal; the Army commander, Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes; the Navy flag officer in command, Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano; and the Air Force chief, Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino de la Cruz.
The Army’s 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division based in Sulu is now headed by an officer in charge, following the death of its commander, the late Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, who died in a diving activity in Zamboanga.
The top position in the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division based in Western Visayas is also due for replacement because its commander, Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on June 20.
In addition, the top position in the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division based in Cagfayan de Oro City remains vacant as it is now led in acting capacity by Brig. Gen. Ricardo Visaya.
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (J-2), based at the Armed Forces General Headquarters in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, also needs a regular head as it is now being run in an acting capacity by Brig. Gen. Virgilio Hernandez.
Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, Northern Luzon Command chief, is also due for retirement on July 6. The command is based at Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac City.
Alcantara is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matapat” Class of 1979. Reports said that he would be replaced by Maj. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. (PMA “Dimalupig” Class ’81), current commander of the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division based at Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
Reportedly eyed for the “highly contested” 1st Infantry Division’s top position is Brig. Gen. Felecito Virgilio Trinidad Jr., (PMA “Sandigan” Class ’82). Trinidad assumed commander in acting capacity for the division following the death of Lucero.