Vinluan to be acting head of Western Mindanao Command
Maj.Gen. Corleto Vinluan is the acting head of the Western Mindanao Command, the military said Monday.
Maj. Arvin Encinas, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said Brig. Gen William Gonzales was designated as the acting commander of Joint Task Force Sulu and 11th Infantry Division, replacing Vinluan from both positions.
Encinas said Gonzales and Vinluan will assume their new positions on Tuesday.
The designation of Vinluan and Gonzales were welcomed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
"Both Major Gen. Corleto Vinluan and Brig. Gen. William Gonzales are seasoned military commanders whose leadership abilities borne of acquired education and training, wealth of experiences, and exposure to combat operations are remarkable," Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said on Monday.
Arevalo said "Major Gen Vinluan has distinguished himself as the commander of 11th Infantry Division stationed in Jolo, Sulu."
"He spearheaded significant combat operations that led to the neutralization of several ASG members and foreign terrorists operating in the hinterlands of Sulu. Foremost among them are the Egyptian suicide bombers who were killed when they were about to execute a planned suicide bombing in Metro Jolo," he said.
"He is a veteran of the Marawi campaign and of various other combat operations against terrorist groups from Zamboanga Peninsula to Central Mindanao. He has become both a warrior and and a peace advocate. From waging fierce firefights, he is now successfully spearheading vigorous partnerships between the military and the LGUs and NGOs to find a lasting solution to the Sulu conflict," he added.
Arevalo said "Brig. Gen William Gonzales is a true blue Scout Ranger being a graduate of both Scout Ranger Training School in Fort Magsaysay and the US Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia."
Gonzales was commander of the First Scout Ranger Regiment for two and a half years prior to his selection as incoming commander of 11ID, said Arevalo.
Gonzales was the commander of 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion that operated in Basilan Province. He was also a former chief of Unified Command Staff of Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).
''These significant posts gave him vital grasp of the WestMinCom AOR ( Area of Responsibility)," Arevalo added. Robina Asido/DMS