MANILA, Philippines — Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) commander Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. has formally retired from the military service, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday.
A joint change of command and retirement ceremony, presided by AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana, was held on Sunday, July 25, at the SOLCOM Headquarters in Camp Nakar, Quezon Province.
In a statement, Sobejana cited Parlade’s contributions, including his campaign to eradicate the operations of communist terrorist groups in Southern Luzon.
“Southern Luzon Command, under Lt.Gen. Parlade, certainly ensured that the people of Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region are free from the influence of the enemies of the state, who continuously resort to violence, intimidation, and deception in pursuing their crooked interests and vile goals,” Sobejana said.
“As Commander of SOLCOM, Lt.Gen. Parlade pursued the effective and timely implementation of Campaign Plans that aim to finally neutralize or destroy the remaining communist terrorist groups (CTGs) operating in Southern Luzon,” he added.
“Working hand-in-hand with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, SOLCOM was able to address insurgency in the region through combat operations and by addressing the root causes of insurgency.”
The AFP also said that Parlade led the Command in implementing stakeholder engagements and community support programs to identify and address issues that the CTGs exploit for their propaganda.
He also led SOLCOM in the activation of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Task Groups, in close coordination with Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, which enabled the Command to promptly respond to any eventualities, especially during the recent eruptions of Taal volcano.
“Indeed, SOLCOM, under the leadership of Lt.Gen. Parlade, is always ready to safeguard the people of Southern Luzon from whatever danger or unwanted circumstances that threaten the security environment in the area of operations,” Sobejana said.
Parlade is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987.
The AFP said Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division commander Major General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro will replace Parlade as the new SOLCOM chief.
Bacarro is a member of the PMA “Maringal” Class of 1988.
He previously served as the Commandant of the PMA Cadet Corps and as Internal Auditor of the AFP, Chief of Staff of 4th Infantry Division, Commander of 502nd Infantry Brigade, and also the Head of the AFP-ELCAC.
He is also a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff Course in Kansas, USA.
Bacarro was awarded the Medal of Valor “for acts of conspicuous courage, gallantry, and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” during an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Isabela in 1991.
“Major General Bacarro’s bravery and gallantry are beyond reproach. He is a leader who never leaves his men behind in the direst of situations,” Sobejana said.
“I expect that he will usher in more accomplishments and milestones not only for this command but also for the whole of Southern Luzon,” he added.