Medal of Valor awardee named next Southern Luzon Command chief

Medal of Valor awardee, Maj. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, will take over as the new commander of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) later this month.

Bacarro will replace Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. who will mandatorily retire from the service on July 26.

This was confirmed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked by reporters to confirm whether Bacarro was selected for the post by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“Yes,” he said in a message late on Wednesday.

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.

Asked on whether Parlade will continue on his role as one of the spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), Lorenzana said he has no idea yet as the military officer already resigned from the body.

“He has resigned from the NTF ELCAC many weeks ago. Whether he will be hired by the NTF ELCAC after his retirement or will he consider it, I have no idea,” he said.

Parlade is known for his tough stance against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army and its allies.

“For those asking on the resignation of Gen. Parlade as spokesman of NTF-ELCAC, please get confirmation from Secretary (Hermogenes) Esperon, the Executive Director of NTF ELCAC,” Lorenzana said in a separate message.

Bacarro, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1988, assumed as 2nd Infantry Division commander last April.

Prior to the appointment, he was the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Internal Auditor. Bacarro also served as the commandant of the Cadet Corps of the PMA in Baguio City.

In 2019, he and then PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista resigned from their positions over command responsibility due to the hazing death of Cadet Darwin Dormitorio. Bacarro and Evangelista were charged but later cleared by government prosecutors for lack of probable cause.

Four PMA cadets and three PMA Station Hospital officers are currently facing charges before a Baguio City court over the incident. PNA.GOV.PH