President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has designated Medal of Valor awardee Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Malacañang said Monday.
Bacarro will take over the position from Gen. Andres Centino, his classmate in the Philippine Military Academy "Maringal" Class of 1988, and will be formally installed in a change of command ceremony on Aug. 8, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
Bacarro currently serves as the commander of the Southern Luzon Command, and was formerly assigned with the 5th Infantry Division in Isabela during the government's counter-insurgency campaign in the Cagayan Valley Region from 1988 to 1995.
During his assignment in Isabela, Bacarro was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest award for combat in the AFP, for his "conspicuous acts of courage, gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" during a 10-hour encounter with communist rebels who attacked Maconacon town on Feb. 26, 1991.
Aside from his leadership in military troops, Bacarro also served as spokesperson for the Philippine Army and chief of the Public Affairs Office in Fort Bonifacio. He also became spokesperson of the AFP and chief of the Public Affairs Office in Camp Aguinaldo.
Bacarro will be the first AFP chief of staff to be given a fixed three-year term after former President Rodrigo Duterte on April 13 signed the law fixing the three-year tour of duty for the chief of staff and other officials of the armed forces.