Parlade retires from military service; Bacarro assumes post as new SOLCOM chief

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2021   •   326

MANILA, Philippines — Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) commander Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. has formally retired from the military service, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday.

A joint change of command and retirement ceremony, presided by AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana, was held on Sunday, July 25, at the SOLCOM Headquarters in Camp Nakar, Quezon Province.

In a statement, Sobejana cited Parlade’s contributions, including his campaign to eradicate the operations of communist terrorist groups in Southern Luzon.

“Southern Luzon Command, under Lt.Gen. Parlade, certainly ensured that the people of Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region are free from the influence of the enemies of the state, who continuously resort to violence, intimidation, and deception in pursuing their crooked interests and vile goals,” Sobejana said.

“As Commander of SOLCOM, Lt.Gen. Parlade pursued the effective and timely implementation of Campaign Plans that aim to finally neutralize or destroy the remaining communist terrorist groups (CTGs) operating in Southern Luzon,” he added.

“Working hand-in-hand with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, SOLCOM was able to address insurgency in the region through combat operations and by addressing the root causes of insurgency.”

The AFP also said that Parlade led the Command in implementing stakeholder engagements and community support programs to identify and address issues that the CTGs exploit for their propaganda.

He also led SOLCOM in the activation of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Task Groups, in close coordination with Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, which enabled the Command to promptly respond to any eventualities, especially during the recent eruptions of Taal volcano.

“Indeed, SOLCOM, under the leadership of Lt.Gen. Parlade, is always ready to safeguard the people of Southern Luzon from whatever danger or unwanted circumstances that threaten the security environment in the area of operations,” Sobejana said.

Parlade is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987.

The AFP said Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division commander Major General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro will replace Parlade as the new SOLCOM chief.

Bacarro is a member of the PMA “Maringal” Class of 1988.

He previously served as the Commandant of the PMA Cadet Corps and as Internal Auditor of the AFP, Chief of Staff of 4th Infantry Division, Commander of 502nd Infantry Brigade, and also the Head of the AFP-ELCAC.

He is also a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff Course in Kansas, USA.

Bacarro was awarded the Medal of Valor “for acts of conspicuous courage, gallantry, and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” during an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Isabela in 1991.

“Major General Bacarro’s bravery and gallantry are beyond reproach. He is a leader who never leaves his men behind in the direst of situations,” Sobejana said.

“I expect that he will usher in more accomplishments and milestones not only for this command but also for the whole of Southern Luzon,” he added.

PNP-AFP ops seize bomb-making materials in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 15, 2021

Police and military operatives seized a huge cache of bomb-making materials in Cavite on Thursday, October 14.

Two individuals were arrested in a joint the operation carried out by the Philippine National Police (PNP) units led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Cavite Police Provincial Office in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other PNP support units.

The suspects were identified as Charlito Tenorio, 52 years old, and Jay-ar Suson, 34 years old.

According to PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar , Tenorio was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Brgy. Bacao 2, General Trias City, Cavite at 12:30 PM; while Suson, the alleged mastermind, was arrested at 5:30 in the afternoon in Tayabas, Quezon.

Confiscated from the suspects were 750 kilograms of ammonium nitrate contained in thirty 25-kilogram sacks, and 1,000 pieces of improvised blasting caps, all loaded in a commuter van. The confiscated explosive components worth P200,000 were being negotiated for sale by the suspects.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar instructed local authorities in Cavite to identify all persons involved in their operations as well as their clients. He said that this type of explosive materials are “commonly used for industrial purposes, but can also be used as components for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

“With this successful operation, we may have prevented the possibility of these materials being used for criminal activities,” Eleazar said.

The seized explosives reportedly have a blast radius of 1.5 kilometers. AAC

Philippine Air Force receives four drones from US military

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

 The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received four ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from the United States Military, the US Embassy said on Thursday.

The UAS units worth P20 million were turned over to PAF at the Clark Air Bases in Pampanga on October 13.

The drones were personally received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PAF commander Lieutenant General Allen Paredes.

Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim (CDA) Heather Variava joined Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) in delivering the drones to the PAD.

The donated drones are expected to provide the Philippines additional capabilities in unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), and strengthen counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

It will also increase the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) domain awareness and border security capabilities.

“We remain committed to our promises on helping modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and we hope this will further strengthen our combined capabilities in working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Variava said.

The embassy said the United States provides the AFP with grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support its modernization goals and urgent maritime security, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief requirements.

The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the embassy.

Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than P50.6 billion ($1.06 billion) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with our Filipino allies, it added.

PNP to coordinate with AFP on campaign vs loose firearms

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday said they will closely work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in strengthening efforts against the proliferation of loose firearms in the country.

In a statement, Eleazar said the PNP will be partnering with the AFP to bolster coordination and information-sharing to further intensify the campaign.

Eleazar’s statement follows the arrest of five people, including two soldiers and a policeman, for allegedly selling firearms during an entrapment operation in Barnagay Tamontaka in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao last Tuesday.

The PNP identified the arrested individuals as Patrolman Eliver Jay Anggot Soverano, reportedly assigned to the PNP-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Crime Laboratory Office; Datu Morjan Kunakon Tumindig; Adams Tuminding; and Army Staff Sgt. Gleen Argones Sangyao and Army Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Dichosa II, both are reportedly assigned to the 6th Infantry Division.

The operation was conducted after a police poseur-buyer was able to transact with the suspects for the sale of assorted firearms.

Seized from the suspects were a 5.56 mm Bushmaster rifle, two 5.56 rifle, an M4 Carbine, two cal. 45 pistols, and three 9mm pistols.

“Dahil sa insidenteng ito, makikipag-ugnayan ang inyong PNP sa liderato ng Armed Forces of the Philippines upang palakasin ang monitoring at mga operasyon laban sa sinumang magbebenta at bibili ng mga loose firearms, pulis man, sundalo o sinuman ang sangkot dito. Hindi natin hahayaan ang ganitong kalakaran lalo na at may eleksyon tayong dapat protektahan,” Eleazar said.

He said the PNP personnel arrested will be charged with both criminal and administrative charges.

He lauded the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station for the operation.

Eleazar earlier ordered police units to conduct early election security preparations that include aggressive operations against loose firearms and private armed groups.

“I am also warning all our personnel not to engage in this kind of illegal activity because I will make sure that the full force of the law will be used against you. Bilang mga alagad ng batas, hindi dapat tayo maging bantay-salakay at sa halip ay bantay ng bayan upang mapanatili ang kapayapaan at kaayusan,” he said.

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