By: Jaime Sinapit, InterAksyon.com
January 15, 2013 11:15 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The Army's commanding general, also the brains behind the counter-insurgency program called Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or "Bayanihan," has been chosen by President Benigno Aquino III to be the next AFP Chief of Staff, according to highly placed sources.
Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1981, will replace outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa.
A source said Aquino signed the appointment of Bautista Monday afternoon. Malacanang is expected to announce the news within the day.
Dellosa will pass on the torch to Bautista on January 17, four days before his mandatory retirement age of 56.
Bautista bested other strong candidates such as Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes.
Bautista assumed his post as the 54th Army chief on November 11, 2011. Before this, he served as commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, which operated in the whole of Western Visayas and the provinces of Negros Oriental and Siquijor of Central Visayas.
Before becoming 3rd ID Commander, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations or J3, of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), assisting the Chief of Staff in formulating plans and policies on all matters on operations and organization. As J3, he led the formulation of the new Internal Peace and Security Plan, "Bayanihan", which involved innovative approaches and paradigm shifts. It is now the blueprint of the AFP in "winning the peace".
Bautista was also concurrent Acting Deputy Chief of Staff (TDCS) in the latter part of his stint as J3.
He was Commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, involved in Internal Security Operations in Central Luzon and responsible for the clearing of enemy guerrilla fronts in its Area of Responsibility.
Other field command duties he had were: Commander 24th Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division; Commander of the 7th Scout Ranger Company, 1st Scout Ranger Regiment; and Platoon Leader in the 26th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. These assignments exposed him to various operational areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Internal auditor of AFP
As former Internal Auditor of the AFP, the choice of Bautista is seen to hew to the administration's reform agenda. He had helped the Chief of Staff in the efficient management of AFP resources. He also served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, J5, AFP. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans assists the Chief of Staff, AFP in preparing strategic plans, formulating policies and managing the international affairs of the AFP.
He also served as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of National Defense. In that position, he acted as the principal adviser of the Secretary of National Defense on military matters and served as his liaison to the Armed Forces.
He also held various important positions in the Army such as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3; Secretary, Army General Staff; Chief of Staff of the Special Operations Command; and Chief of Staff of the 7th Infantry Division. At the AFP General Headquarters he also served as Executive Officer of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, J5, and is concurrently RP Co-Secretary of the RP-US Mutual Defense Board and Secretary of the AFP Modernization Board Executive Committee.
He also served as the plans officer of the AFP Civil Relations Service and as Instructor at the Department of Social Sciences, Philippine Military Academy where he taught economics, military history and military strategy.
Bautista graduated number 7 out of 161 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1981 and was a recipient of the Commanding General Philippine Army Award, JUSMAG Saber Award and Distinguished Cadet Award (Starman).
He finished at the top of his class in the following courses: Scout Ranger Course, Infantry Officer Advance Course, and the Army Command and General Staff Course. He is also a graduate of the Joint & Combined Warfighting Course at the Joint Forces Staff College, Virginia, USA; the Grade II Staff and Tactics Course in New Zealand; Symposium on East Asian Security (SEAS), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; and Security Sector Development at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He also has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
During his watch as Commanding General of Philippine Army, he advocated the implementation of IPSP “Bayanihan” through the conduct of various programs and activities to sustain PA units momentum in “Winning the Peace”.
Parallel to this effort, he pursued the Army’s organizational transformation through the Army Transformation Roadmap to address the most crucial concerns in the Philippine Army, to enhance the soldier’s capability, morale and welfare in carrying out his mandated tasks and, most importantly to enhance operational capabilities of frontline units to fulfil AFP mission.
With the ATR and IPSP as guideposts, he made sure Army personnel and units will be provided with responsive training programs through the conduct of IPSP mission essential trainings (10 Mission Planning, 10 Stakeholders Engagement, and 10 Bayanihan Team Activities Trainings) in all infantry divisions. These training programs are reinforced by various activities aimed to enhance units’ appreciation on Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Rule of Law.
To hone frontline units, he directed the conduct of seven unit trainings of five battalions under Battalion of Excellence Program. Also, there were 12 company sustainment trainings, 105 platoon sustainment trainings and 430 squad sustainment trainings conducted under his watch. Complementing these are training programs to improve leadership qualities of ground commanders composed of one Senior Leader’s Conference, 5 Battalion Commanders symposiums, 33 Platoon Leader’s Combat Proficiency Workshop, and five Senior NCO Leadership Symposiums.
In pursuit of the development of the Army's force structure, he initiated the crafting of the PA Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE). He activated 10 Forward Support Medical Companies in all infantry divisions and 76 medical platoons in all infantry battalions. He also directed the activation of 6th Special Forces Battalion and the Army Governance and Strategic Management Office that will carry out the transformation program of the Army. Through the Capability Upgrade Program, the Army received mission essential equipment that include 2,930 M4 Assault Rifles; 27,778 Kevlar Helmets; 4,379 Armored Vests; 137 1 ¼ ton trucks (KM450); 250 2 ½ ton trucks (KM250); 79 field ambulances; 2,775 Night Fighting System equipment; and four tractor dozers. Also acquired were 3,550 Individual First Aid Kits; 490 Combat Life Saving Kits, and 50 Mobile Medical Treatment Kits.