Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, who successfully dismantled two guerilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Luzon, was officially installed as the new commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NoLCom) in a ceremony held in Tarlac City on Monday.
Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), presided over the change of command ceremony between Burgos and Lieutenant General Ramiro Manuel Rey, who is set to retire on Tuesday.
Gapay urged Burgos to continue the AFP’s operational gains against communist groups, terrorists, and other security threats by ensuring efficient interoperability among the different services under his command.
Prior to this, Burgos was the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) based in Tanay, Rizal where he was able to push the insurgency in Southern Tagalog “on the verge of irrecoverable defeat.”
Through intense military operations against insurgents, the 2ID pulverized the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee’s (STRPC) Guerilla Front Cesar which operates in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Quezon and Bulacan.
In 2019, Burgos served as the brigade commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, 2ID where he completely demolished the STRPC’s Guerilla Front Honda, which operated in Cavite and Batangas.
“I am bringing with me the learnings and experiences that I accumulated in my more than 36 years of military service as well as the innovations, approaches and best practices from the immediate south of Metro Manila, which has pushed the once mighty Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee on the verge of irrecoverable defeat,” Burgos said.
He thanked President Duterte “for his unwavering trust and confidence in my abilities as a military commander” while directing his troops to “deal the NPA terrorists the decisive blows necessary to finish insurgency before the end of the President’s term.”
Aside from territorial defense and counterinsurgency operations, Burgos said among his priorities as NoLCom chief include proactive disaster response, forging domestic and international alliances, and promoting prosperity and development in the north by ensuring the security of critical infrastructures, private businesses and flagship projects.
Burgos is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988 and a native of Lipa, Batangas.
Meanwhile, Rey expressed his gratitude to the soldiers and subordinate commanders for the support that they have extended to him during his incumbency.
“Our commitment and dedication to serve our people and secure our territory despite the challenges and odds have made the difference in this part of the country,” Rey said.