Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, who courted controversy for linking actors and opposition politicians to the communist rebellion, is retiring in less than a month and will be replaced by a Medal of Valor awardee in his current posting, his superior said.
Maj. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro will take over as head of the Southern Luzon Command when Parlade reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 26, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said.
Bacarro is one of the few living recipients of the Medal of Valor, the highest combat honor in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He got his MOV for repelling a two-day long attack by the New People's Army on Maconacon town, Isabela in 1991, just three years after he graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1988. He fought on despite an wounded leg.
He is currently the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Army based in Tanay, Rizal that is under Solcom headed by Parlade. Before that, Bacarro was the Internal Auditor of the Armed Forces. He also served in UN-led peacekeeping forces abroad.
In 2019, Bacarro resigned as commandant of the PMA Cadet Corps after yet another hazing controversy in the academy. He faced charges over the incident. The charges were dismissed due to lack of probable cause.
In a statement, Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez urged President Rodrigo Duterte to recall Bacarro's appointment. He said it was a "grave injustice" for his late constituent.
"Mr. Bacarro is one of those responsible for the death by hazing of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Darwin Dormitorio on September 18, 2019. Darwin was a constituent of mine in Cagayan de Oro," Rodriguez said.
Bacarro was a long time spokesman of the Armed Forces and the Philippine Army during the mid to late 2000s before finishing required studies for his promotion as general.