A “Strategist” will assume as new Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) in a Change of Command Ceremony to be presided by the Chief of Staff, AFP Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. in the morning of January 21, 2019, at Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City.
Different peace stakeholders in Eastern Mindanao are expected to witness the assumption of Command of MGen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Laur, Palayan Nueva Ecija vice MGen Ronald Villanueva the Acting Commander.
It can be recalled that Eastmincom was put under the stewardship of MGen Ronald Villanueva in an acting capacity after Gen. Madrigal Jr. assumed as Chief Of Staff of the AFP on December 8, 2018.
MGen. Santos is not new in Mindanao situation and he is adept in wide range peace and security programs not only in Mindanao but in the whole country having been assigned with the strategic offices of the AFP dealing with Operations, Intelligence and Civil-Military Operations.
He once headed the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City and subsequently became the Group Commander of Intelligence Service Group, Philippine Army. Furthermore, MGen. Santos after his graduation in Philippine Military Academy in 1986 spends his junior years with 39th Infantry Battalion, a unit deployed in various provinces in Mindanao.
The former Chief of Operations of Central Command in the Visayas also once headed 703rd Infantry Brigade in Central Luzon, Battalion Commander of 63rd Infantry Battalion in Samar Province and Assistant Division Commander of 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in DOS, Awang Maguindanao.
Aside from Operations and Intelligence, his experience in Civil-Military Operations having been assigned with Civil Relations Service, AFP and headed the former Civil Military Operations Group, Philippine Army is expected to boost the peace and security effort in Eastern Mindanao more so in the advent of the implementation of Executive Order 70 which institutionalize “whole of nation approach” in fighting insurgency in the country.
Aside from experience, MGen. Santos is also equipped with knowledge and skills gained from his schooling both local and abroad.