BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo is back in Western Visayas, as commanding general of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.
The designation of Arevalo as incoming 3ID commander effective September 6 was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, as recommended by the AFP Board Of Generals and Defense Secretary Lorenzana.
Arevalo, who is presently the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations (J7), yesterday said that the date 3ID change of command has not been known yet, as the availability of Army chief Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, who is the presiding officer, is still being determined.
Prior to his new position, Arevalo served as the 303rd Infantry Brigade commander two years ago, in Murcia, Negros Occidental, and assigned with the 66th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Burgos, Cadiz City, in the early 1990s.
He also briefly served as commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade in Panay.
It was during the stint of Arevalo as 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, where elusive rebel priest Frank Fernandez, then secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/ Siquijor, and his wife and deputy, Cleofe Lagtapon, had been neutralized through their arrests in Luzon.
Arevalo will replace Brig. Gen. Noel Baluyan, who is serving as acting 3ID commander, following the retirement of Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya from the military service on September 6.
Baluyan is expected to slide down to his previous position as Assistant Division Commander of 3ID.
As 3ID commander, Arevalo will supervise three Army infantry brigades in Panay, Negros and Bohol islands.
President Duterte also appointed Maj. Gen. Robert Dauz as the new military chief of the AFP Visayas Command (VisCom). He replaced Negrense Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan, who retired on August 21.
Before his appointment, Dauz served as the vice commander of the 100,000-strong Philippine Army.
Duterte also named Major General Alfredo Rosario Jr as the incoming Western Mindanao Command chief, replacing Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr who reached the mandatory age of 56 on August 25.*