MGen Romeo Brawner Jr. is new Philippine Army chief

Major General Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the 4th Infantry Division, checks the 15 firearms seized from NPA rebels in San Fernando, Bukidnon on Sept. 8, 2021. Photo taken Sept. 9, 2021 in Maramag, Bukidnon by FROILAN GALLARDO/MindaNews

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 08 December) — Five months after he assumed command of the Army 4th Infantry Division, Major General Romeo Brawner Jr., was appointed as commanding general of the 100,000-strong Philippine Army.

President Rodrigo Duterte notified Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana that his appointment of Brawner as Philippine Army Chief took effect on December 7.

“I wish to inform you that per your letter-endorsement and in accordance with the recommendation of Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chairman, AFP Board of Generals, the designation of General Romeo Brawner Jr., as commanding general, Philippine Army, is hereby approved effective this date,” Duterte said in the appointment order dated December 7.

Brawner replaced Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, who is now the AFP Chief of Staff.

He assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division, the Army unit mainly responsible for counterinsurgency operations in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions last July 1.

His major success during the five-month stint was the death of communist leader Jorge Madlos aka “Ka Oris,” spokesperson of the New People’s Army National Operational Command and the National Democratic Front in Mindanao who was killed in a military operation in Impasugong, Bukidnon last Oct. 31.

Brawner used to the spokesperson and deputy commander of the Task Force Ranao fighting the ISIS-inspired militants who attacked Marawi City in 2017.

He later took over the command of the 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi as the military launched operations to flush out the remaining militants.

Zia Alonto Adiong, Bangsamoro Transition Authority Deputy Speaker heaped praises on Brawner on his appointment as Army chief.

“I have personally seen his dedication and degree of commitment in serving the people,” Adiong said.

Adiong and Brawner used to work together during the siege in Marawi as spokespersons for the government.

A native of Kiangan, Ifugao province, Brawner belongs to the Philippine Military Academy  “Makatao” Class 1989.

He became the Commandant of Cadets at the academy after it was rocked by a hazing scandal in 2019. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)