AFP-SoLCom has new commander

By Francis Wakefield

The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Southern Luzon Command (AFP-SoLCom) has a new commander, following the retirement of Lt. Gen. Danilo G. Pamonag from military service.

Pamonag was replaced in an acting capacity by Maj. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, the concurrent Commander of the Mechanized Division of the Philippine Army.

Maj. Gen. Gilbert Gapay (YouTube / 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN) Maj. Gen. Gilbert Gapay (YouTube / 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pamonag bowed out of military service following a joint Retirement and Change of Command Ceremony held at the SoLCom headquarters in Quezon Province on Tuesday.

According to the AFP's Public Affairs Office, Pamonag retired after more than 35 years of military service, highlighted by his leadership in the two biggest urban battles of the AFP in recent history.

Prior his stint at SoLCom, Pamonag led the Special Operations Command.

After working alongside then Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi retired Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista, he was designated as the ground commander in the battle for Marawi City in October 2017.

Pamonag was also the ground commander in the defense of Zamboanga City in 2013 against rogue members of the Moro National Liberation Front.

"His outstanding leadership and capacity as a military commander were vital in our defense of Zamboanga City, Marawi City, and the SoLCom area of responsibility which serves as a gateway to our capital and center of political and economic activity," said AFP Chief of Staff Gen Benjamin Madrigal, Jr..

"On behalf of every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine, I thank Lt. Gen. Danilo Pamonag for his dedicated service and for his tireless work in defending our country against any threat," Madrigal added.

Madrigal, at the same time, praised Pamonag's accomplishments in suppressing the communist threat in Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions.