THE Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Dimalupig” Class of 1981 is now the ruling class in the military with the recent appointment of one of its members, Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, as the Armed Forces chief of staff.
Bautista assumed as chief of staff on January 17, dumping the chance of Class of 1980 to the top after the era of PMA Class of 1979 led by the immediate past chief of staff, retired Gen. Jessie Dellosa. Bautista bested the Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino de la Cruz, of PMA Class of 1980. “As the ruling class, expect members of the PMA Class of 1981 to grab key positions in the Armed Forces,” a senior officer said.
The positioning of the ruling class was first felt in the appointment of the commander of the Armed Forces Civil Relations Service (CRS), the military’s psychological warfare office. Strong contenders for the CRS position are the Armed Forces adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Rolando Jungco of PMA Class of 1982 and the Armed Forces Human Rights Office head, Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr., a member of PMA Class of 1981.
Another member of PMA Class 1981, Brig. Gen. Jonas Sumagaysay, was appointed assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division based in Jamindan, Capiz.
“Based on a memorandum from the Office of the President to the secretary of national defense dated January 11, 2013 and approved by the commanding general, Philippine Army, on the same date, Brig. Gen. Jonas Sumagaysay will replace Brig. Gen. Lysander Suerte as assistant division commander while the latter will become deputy commander of the Central Command based in Cebu,” 3ID Deputy Spokesman Capt. Ryan Joseph Cayton said.
Reports said that Lt. Gen. Alan Luga, also of PMA Class 1981, is being groomed to be the Armed Forces vice chief of staff, vice Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes (PMA Class 1980), who now commands the Army.
Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug (PMA Class ’80) and Maj. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, commanders of 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division and 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division, respectively, are, likewise, being eyed for the top Southern Luzon Command post.
Meanwhile, sources said Mr. Aquino has designated Maj. Gen. Rolando Tenefrancia (PMA Class 1979) to the Office of The Inspector General of the Armed Forces. The three-star position had long been vacant since the appointment of Lt. Gen. Irineo Espino (PMA Class 1979) as PMA superintendent.