President Duterte appoints Army’s 61st Commanding General

    FORT ANDRES BONIFACIO, Taguig City – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appointed Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay as the 61st Commanding General of the Philippine Army.

    Through a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Duterte announced his approval for the recommendation of Gapay as the next Army Commanding General. Gapay is succeeding Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto who is about to reach the mandatory retirement age of 56.

    Gapay graduated at the top of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986. He has been serving for 33 years in various command and staff positions. He commanded various army units and confronted threats from the CPP-NPA, secessionist and other local terrorist groups.

    Among his major contributions to the AFP is the alternative approach to insurgency known as the “Bayanihan Operations Concept” which he formulated after he fought at the height of insurgency in Agusan provinces in 1988 and his successful capture of the MILF stronghold Camp Abubakar in 2000. This concept became the basis of the conflict resolution strategy adopted by the AFP.

    In 2017, Gapay was designated as the Commander of the Mechanized Infantry Division, now the Armor “Pambato” Division, wherein he supported the development of the armor, aviation, air defense, and cyber security that led to the various capability upgrades of the division.

    Prior to his appointment, Gapay was the Commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM). Under his command, the SOLCOM was able to reduce the CPP-NPA’s armed capability, neutralized communist terrorist group key leaders, and reduced the incidence of NPA atrocities in the area. His key effort that led to this is the operationalization of the Executive Order No. 70 by activating the Regional Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC) in the three regions in Southern Luzon, the first to be created in the country.

    To formalize the turnover of responsibilities from Alberto to Gapay, a Change of Command Ceremony will be held at the Philippine Army on December 6, 2019.

    "General Gapay's competence and character earned him the respect and admiration of his peers, colleagues, and subordinates. We are confident that he is fully able to steer the organization into greater heights in its quest to become a truly world-class Army," said Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Army spokesperson.#

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