Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. on Sunday formally retired from the military after 38 years of service.
Parlade was replaced by 2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro in a joint change-of-command and retirement ceremony, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said in a statement Monday.
AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana presided over the ceremony at the Solcom headquarters in Camp Nakar, Lucena City, Quezon.
“Southern Luzon Command, under Lieutenant General Parlade, certainly ensured that the people of Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region are free from the influence of the enemies of the state, who continuously resort to violence, intimidation, and deception in pursuing their crooked interests and vile goals,” he added.
As Solcom commander, Parlade pursued the effective and timely implementation of campaign plans that aim to finally neutralize or destroy the remaining communist terrorist groups (CTGs) operating in southern Luzon.
Working hand-in-hand with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), Solcom was able to address insurgency in the region through combat operations and addressing its main causes.
Parlade also led Solcom in stakeholder engagements and community support programs to identify and address issues that the CTGs exploit for their propaganda.
He was also instrumental in the activation of humanitarian assistance and disaster response task groups, in close coordination with disaster risk reduction and management councils, which enabled Solcom to respond to any eventualities, especially during the unrest of the Taal Volcano.
“Indeed, Solcom, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Parlade, is always ready to safeguard the people of Southern Luzon from whatever danger or unwanted circumstances that threaten the security environment in the area of operations,” Sobejana said.
Parlade is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1987. Meanwhile, his successor, Bacarro, is a member of the PMA Class of 1988.
Aside from previously serving as the commandant of the PMA Cadet Corps, Bacarro also served as Internal Auditor of the AFP, Chief of Staff of 4th Infantry Division, commander of the 502nd Infantry Brigade, and also head of the AFP-ELCAC.
He is also a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff Course in Kansas, USA. 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 rebels in Isabela in 1991.”Bacarro’s bravery and gallantry are beyond reproach. He is a leader who never leaves his men behind in the direst of situations. I expect that he will usher in more accomplishments and milestones not only for this command, but also for the whole of Southern Luzon,” Sobejana said.