MANILA, Jan. 20 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Friday welcomes the designation of AFP deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Anthony J. Alcantara as new comnmander of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) and Maj. Gen. Noel A. Coballes as new commander of Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM).
AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said Alcantara would take over as the new Commander of NOLCOM which is currently being headed by General Officer-in-Charge, Maj. Gen. Ricardo C. Banayat.
Alcantara is the current Deputy Chief of Staff, AFP. He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matapat” Class of 1979.
Burgos said Alcantara assumed the position as TDCS, April 28 last year. Prior to this designation, he was the Commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division, Philippine Army in Central Mindanao.
During his leadership in the 6ID, he led his Command in conducting security and stability operations in Central Mindanao, especially during the aftermath of the infamous Ampatuan Massacre on Nov. 23, 2009, particularly the implementation of Martial Law and State of Emergency.
Burgos said the operations successfully led to arrests of those who were implicated in the massacre; resumption of Law and Order in entire area of responsibility; and the government machinery to go back to function.
Alcantara’s significant assignments included Commander, Presidential Escort Battalion at Presidential Security Group; Commander, 16th Infantry Battalion in Quezon province; Commander, 702nd Brigade in Luzon; and Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Philippine Army.
He finished his Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines and Development Management at Asian Institute of Management.
Meanwhile, Coballes is set to replace Lt. Gen. Raymundo B. Ferrer who will retire as the Commander of WESTMINCOM on January 23. Coballes currently serves as the 41st Commander of 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army. He is a member of the PMA “Mapitagan” Class of 1980.
Coballes is a seasoned combat officer who began his military profession as platoon leader of Delta Company, 26IB, 4ID, PA and spent most of his career under First Scout Ranger Regiment where he was honed and tested as a highly potential junior officer.
His first tour of duty brought him to the jungles of Mindanao to where he fearlessly led his troops in their fight against insurgents and lawless elements. (PNA) RMA/JCA