BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved and signed the promotion of Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, former 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, and two other ranking military officials assigned at the 3rd Infantry Division, to the next higher ranks effective July 25.
This was confirmed yesterday by Arevalo, who was promoted to the rank of major general. He is presently the AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil Military Operations.
Also promoted to the rank of brigadier general were Col. Noel Baluyan, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, and Col. Marion Sison, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, Arevalo said.
The promotion of Arevalo, Sison, Baluyan, Colonels Camilo Ligayo, Zosimo Oliveros, Ignatius Patrimonio, Leonel Nicolas and Gerry Pulohanan were endorsed by the Board of Generals and approved by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
The retirement of Brig. Gen. Cesar de Mesa as chief of the AFP Intelligence Service also led to the reshuffling of some key positions in the Philippine military.
Brig. Gen. Ariel Felicidario, who formerly led the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in Negros, is the new chief of the AFP Peace and Development Office, while Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra, former commander of the Presidential Security Group, took over the position as ISAFP chief.
Brig. Gen. Ramil Bitong, who also used to be assigned in central Negros as 11th Infantry Battalion commander, is the new commander of the Philippine Army’s Installation Management Command. He replaced Maj. Gen. Tyne Bañas, a Negrense, who retired from the military service after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.*