MGen Cuerpo is the new 4th Infantry Division chief

MGen Jose Maria Cuerpo, the new commander of the 4th Infantry Division. MindaNews photo taken March 23, 2023 by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 24 March) – A veteran hunter of the ISIS-inspired Dawlah-Islamiyah has assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division, the main military unit fighting the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in northern and northeastern Mindanao.

Philippine Army commander  LGen Romeo Brawner Jr. tasked MGen Jose Maria Cuerpo to”finish the fight” against the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in northeastern Mindanao. 

“Our President has ordered to end the CPP-NPA. Finish them now,” Brawner told Cuerpo during the turnover ceremony on Thursday.

“I admit that fulfilling the Command’s mandated mission will prove challenging,” Cuerpo said.

Cuerpo, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Bigkis-Lahi” Class of 1990 and who hails from Iligan City, served as deputy chief of staff for personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines before he assumed command of the division.

Prior to that, he was the commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City where he spent five years hunting the remnants of the Dawlah Islamiyah.

Troops parade during the assumption of MGen Jose Maria Cuerpo as chief of the 4th Infantry Division on Thursday (March 23, 2023). MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

In March 2022, troops led by Cuerpo overran a Dawlah Islamiyah camp in Maguing, Lanao del Sur reportedly killing at least 40 rebels and seizing a sizable amount of war materiel. 

Cuerpo as the deputy commander of the 103rd Brigade led patrols during the five months of fighting between the government and the Maute-led Dawlah Islamiyah that seized Marawi.

He has assumed command of a division whose recent achievements against the CPP-NPA included the killing of National Democratic Front spokesperson Jorge Madlos alias “Ka Oris” and National Democratic Front consultant Pedro Cudaste. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)