By Arwen Pascua
FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila — The Philippine Army joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in welcoming Lt. Gen. Vicente Bartolome Bacarro as the 58th AFP Chief of Staff in a Change of Command Ceremony at the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on August 8, 2022.
President and Commander-in-Chief Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., presided the ceremony attended by Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, key government leaders, the AFP top brass including Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., and other major service commanders, Medal for Valor awardees, and foreign defense attaches.
Lt. Gen. Bacarro, in his assumption speech, laid out his command guidance that echoes the president’s call for unity. Lt. Gen. Bacarro ordered the 143,000-strong military to pursue unparalleled professionalization; noble utilization of resources; the invigoration of capability development; tenacity in sustaining operational gains; and yearning for service excellence.
Lt. Gen. Bacarro held key positions such as Southern Luzon Command chief; Chief of Staff of the 4th Infantry Division; Philippine Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3; Commandant of the Philippine Military Academy, and AFP Internal Auditor. He received the Medal for Valor for his gallantry in facing head-on 150 fully armed communist terrorists that attacked Maconacon, Isabela in 1991. He is also the first AFP Chief of Staff to receive a three-year term under Republic Act 11709.
Meanwhile—the 57th Chief of Staff Andres C. Centino, who belongs to the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988 as Lt. Gen. Bacarro—will be appointed to another post under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
The Saluting Battery of the Army Artillery Regiment rendered a 19-gun salute while a brigade-sized contingent of honor guards from the AFP major services rendered a parade and testimonial review in honor of Gen. Centino. (ai/mtvn)