Marcos picks Medal of Valor awardee Bacarro as new AFP chief of staff


Posted at Aug 01 2022 01:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2022 04:49 PM

Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro is the new appointed chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. ABS-CBN News/file
Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro is the new appointed chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA (UPDATE) — Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro has been picked by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Monday.

“The change of command for the new AFP chief of staff will be on August 8. This will give time for Gen. Bacarro to wind down at the SOLCOM and provide him with the transition to his new position in Camp Aguinaldo,” Cruz-Angeles said.

Bacarro, 55, is currently the commander of the AFP's Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM).

He will succeed his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), outgoing chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino, who Cruz-Angeles said is "slated for a new post befitting a former chief of staff."

Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. welcomed Bacarro's appointment.

"Lieutenant General Bacarro’s appointment as Chief of Staff bodes well for the AFP as he will be given a longer period to implement reforms and institutionalizes policies that will redound to the benefit of the organization,” Faustino said in a statement.

“We also extend our profound gratitude to General Andres C. Centino, and wish him well as he embarks on a new chapter of his career."

Bacarro will be the first AFP chief of staff to be given a fixed three-year-term, in accordance with Republic Act 11709 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte last April.

Bacarro is a recipient of the Medal of Valor, the highest award for combat in the AFP, which he obtained in 1991 after enduring a 10-hour encounter with 150 New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Maconacon, Isabela.

His tour with the 5th Infantry Division in Isabela province came "at the height of the counter-insurgency campaign in the Cagayan Valley from June 1988 until 1995."

During his 7-year stay in Isabela, he held various positions in the division, including platoon leader, company commander, administrative officer, intelligence officer, operations officer, civil-military operations office and secretary to the general staff.

Aside from the Medal of Valor, his other accolades include 36 Military Merit Medals, nine Combat Commander's (Kagitingan) Badges, five Distinguished Service Stars, two Silver Wing Medals, two Bronze Cross Medals, and one Silver Cross Medal, among others.

He was also conferred the Philippine Military Academy Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1998. He graduated from the academy in 1988.

Bacarro has been serving in the Philippine Army for more than 30 years, during which he was deployed to Iraq as member of the United Nations contingent for a year.

He was also spokesman and chief of public affairs of both the Philippine Army and the AFP.

Bacarro was commandant of the Cadet Corps of the PMA in Baguio City when cadet Darwin Dormitorio died from hazing in 2019, prompting his resignation due to command responsibility.

He and then PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista were charged over the hazing but were cleared by government prosecutors for lack of probable cause.

Bacarro is married to Soledad Bonsato Bacarro of Baguio City, with whom he has 3 children.


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