MANILA Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos deserves his post as the new Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).
"We are assured that he is the right man who will capably handle difficult tasks with leadership, finesse, and professionalism. We congratulate (Maj. Gen. Santos) for another milestone in [his] military career," Madrigal said in a statement late Monday.
Santos took over the helm of the Eastmincom Monday in a change-of-command ceremony presided by Madrigal at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.
Santos, the incumbent commander of the Nueva Ecija-based 7th Infantry Division, is not new to Mindanao as he had been involved in a wide range of peace and security programs in the area before.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, Santos spent most of his junior years with the 39th Infantry Battalion, a unit deployed in various provinces in Mindanao.
An adept military officer, he was assigned to strategic military offices dealing with operations, intelligence, and civil-military operations.
He also once headed the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City.
Prior to his appointment as Eastmincom head, Santos held the positions of Chief of Operations of Central Command in Visayas; 703rd Infantry Brigade Commander in Central Luzon; Battalion Commander of 63rd Infantry Battalion in Samar Province; and Assistant Division Commander of 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Awang Maguindanao.
Aside from Operations and Intelligence, Santos' experience in civil-military operations is expected to boost the peace and security efforts in Eastern Mindanao.
Having been assigned with AFP Civil Relations Service and served as head of the Army's former Civil Military Operations Group, he will lead the Command's implementation of Executive Order 70 which institutionalizes the "whole of nation approach" in fighting insurgency in the country.
Prior to Santos' assumption, Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, led Eastmincom in an acting capacity after Madrigal was appointed as AFP chief December 8, 2018.
Villanueva's brief stint as acting Eastmincom commander was praised by the Madrigal, citing his experience as Brigade and Division commander in Mindanao.
"I have immense confidence in his leadership acumen and strategic prowess knowing his extensive and vast experiences as the Commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade and as the incumbent Commander of 4ID (Infantry Division)," Madrigal stressed.
Villanueva will continue to perform his duties as the Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan De Oro.
"To the men and women of Eastmincom, your invaluable service is the driving factor as we move forward with our objectives. I urge you to give your all-out support to your new commander as we pursue our peace and security interests here in Eastern Mindanao," Madrigal stressed. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency