FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – Following the footsteps of his forefathers, a son of the retired military general assumes command of the 7th Infantry Division which has jurisdiction over Central Luzon, a military official said.
Major Harold M Cabunoc, Army Spokesperson, said that Brigadier General Alan Rio Luga was recently appointed Commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, replacing Brigadier General Jose Mabanta Jr. who was installed as the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Western Visayas two days ago (Feb 6).
Both Luga and Mabanta are members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1981 where the Army Chief, Lt Gen Emmanuel Bautista, also belongs.
“Brig. Gen. Luga has formally assumed command today, February 8, in a simple turn-over of command ceremony presided by General Bautista. Like Bautista, He is a son of a military man. His father, retired General Emilio S Luga Jr. of the PMA Class of 1954, was the former chief of the 1st Infantry 'Tabak' Division based in Zamboanga del Sur,” said Cabunoc.
Luga comes from a family of soldiers. His brother, Erwin, is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel belonging to the PMA Class of 1982.
He is the great grandson of General Mateo Noriel Luga, an Ibanag soldier who fought heroically against the foreign forces during the turbulent years of the American occupation in the Philippines.
As a young lieutenant, Luga fought insurgents in the hinterlands of Western Visayas.
Years thereafter, he commanded the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division which covered the province of Lanao del Sur.
Luga once headed the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command Center (AFPCC). It was during this time that the AFP’s all-out campaign against the Abu Sayyaf was carried out, leading to a series of encounters which resulted to the death of Abu Sayyaf Group leader Khadaffy Janjalani.
As Commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade in Compostela Valley, Luga led the anti-insurgency campaign in the province and delivered gains for the Philippine Army and the AFP as a whole.
Before his designation as 7ID Commander, Luga had led the 802nd Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division. Under his watch, the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Leyte were declared insurgency-free areas.
Luga is also the current Chairman of the government’s Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) which works closely with a counterpart from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in a coordinated effort to forge lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.