(From left) Newly-appointed 11th Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Norman Gonzales and new Wesmincon chief, Major Gen. Corleto Vinluan (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)
MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) on Tuesday announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. William Gonzales as the new commander of the Sulu-based 11th Infantry Division, replacing Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan who has been appointed as head of the Western Mindanao Command.
Col. Ramon Zagala, the PA spokesperson, said the change-of-command ceremonies for Gonzales took place at Camp General Navarro, Zamboanga City.
Army commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana presided over the ceremonies and urged all officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees of the 11th Infantry Division to support their new commander and continue to fulfill their duties.
“Sa ating pagtugon na tapusin ang terorismo sa lalong madaling panahon, mas paigtingin pa ninyo ang kakayahang hanapin, ipitin, at ubusin ang kalaban, at ipagpatuloy ang panalo (In our goal to end terrorism at the quickest possible time, please exert more efforts in locating, cornering and eliminating the enemy for the win),” Sobejana said.
Prior to his appointment at the 11th Infantry Division, Gonzales commanded the First Scout Ranger Regiment. He also served as 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 is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989 and also holds a Masters in Management in Public Administration.
Under Vinluan’s leadership, the 11th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Sulu neutralized 169 Abu Sayyaf Group personalities including foreign terrorists, recovered 212 firearms, and prevented the detonation of a suicide bomber last year.
He has also led the Light Reaction Regiment, Special Operations Command; Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Special Operations Group; and National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group, Army Reserve Command.
Vinluan is also a member of the PMA Class of 1988. (PNA)