The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday, Jan. 19, welcomed the appointment of five ranking generals to key positions in the military.
Those given new assignments were Major Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., the new commander of Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM); Major Gen. William Gonzales, new Inspector General (TIG) of the AFP; Major General Nestor Herico, new Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC); Rear Admiral Alberto Carlos, new commander of the Western Command (WESCOM); and Rear Admiral Rommel Anthony SD Reyes, new AFP Deputy Chief of Staff (TDCS).
The new appointments were approved by the Commander-in-Chief, President Duterte.
“As these gentlemen assume their new roles in the organization, I am confident that they will rise to the occasion and effectively lead our troops in securing our nation and our people,” said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.
Meanwhile, Colonel Ramon Zagala, AFP spokesperson, said the designations of the new officers in their new assignments “speak of the integrity of the selection system of the AFP.”
Zagala added that the officers’ “outstanding performance and extensive experience” made them “earn the trust of the AFP Board of Generals and the approval of the President to perform the duties and responsibilities entailed in the new positions given them.”
Torres, the current commander of the 10th Infantry Division (10ID), was designated as the new commander of the NOLCOM effective Jan. 7. He replaced Brig. Gen. Andrew Costelo who assumed the post in an acting capacity following the retirement of then NOLCOM commander Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. on December 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, Gonzales, current commander of the 11th Infantry Division (11ID), replaced Brig. Gen. Joseph Ferrous Cuison who served as the acting AFP Inspector General effective Jan. 17 following the retirement of Lt. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal on Dec. 8, 2021.
Gonzales led the First Scout Ranger Regiment before being assigned to the 11ID. He also served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training of the Philippine Army and as Commandant of the Officer Candidate School, Training and Doctrine Command.
Gonzales, a product of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989, led the First Scout Ranger Regiment before being assigned to the 11ID. He also served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training of the Philippine Army and as Commandant of the Officer Candidate School, Training and Doctrine Command. He received the Cavalier Award from the PMA, the highest honor bestowed upon a PMA alumnus or alumna who has succeeded in their fields.
Herico, for his part, will vacate his post as the vice commander of the Philippine Navy to assume as the new Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps effective Feb. 21 when Major Gen. Ariel Caculitan retires from the service.
On the other hand, Carlos, current commander of the Philippine Fleet, will replace the retiring Vice Adm. Ramil Roberto Enriquez as the new WESCOM Commander effective Jan. 24.
Lastly, Reyes will assume as The Deputy Chief of Staff, AFP effective Feb. 25 to replace Vice Adm. Erick Kagaoan upon his retirement. He is the current Naval Inspector General and previous commander of the AFP Communications, Electronics and Information System Service (CEISSAFP).