Bergante named new Eastmincom commander

Bergante named new Eastmincom commander

THE Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally welcomed Major General Luis Rex Bergante as the new commander on Friday, June 7, 2024 at Camp Panacan in Davao City.

Bergante replaced EastMinCom acting commander Major General Jose Maria Cuerpo II, the current 4th Infantry Division commander based in Cagayan de Oro City, in a change of command ceremony presided over by AFP Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. 

In his acceptance speech, Bergante said he remains committed to ending the insurgency problem within EastMinCom's area of responsibility particularly in Davao, Soccsargen, and Caraga.

“It is good to be back. This place has been a home for me for a good number of years. Since 2017, this is where I got my first star as a brigade commander and also I realized there is a glimmer of hope na kaya pala natin tapusin ang insurgency,” he said.

“With the guidance of my idol who was then the division commander (10th ID) Retired General Reuben Basiao, we have zero guerilla front, zero firearms, zero strength, and zero barangay affectation,” he added. 

He later explained the importance of community engagement and post-conflict reconciliation efforts.

“The basic underlying concept of this is that dapat maintindihan at maisapuso ng lahat ng tropa from the commanders down to the most junior soldier, sailor, and airman, the intent to really help our communities and make their lives better,” Bergante said.

“And to the commanders, what will happen after the last shot is fired? Think about mitigating the negative effects of this war, paano natin maipadali ang healing and reconciliation?” he said.

”I have a very large shot to kill for the commanders that came before me who did exceptionally well addressing the security threats and contributing to the development of vibrant regions 10 in Northern Mindanao, 11 in Davao Region, and 13 in Caraga,” he added.

On February 27, 2023, Bergante, who is an Ilongo, assumed the position of 59th commander of the Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army. 

Bergante had important posts during his career. He served as the 7th "Kaugnay" Division assistant commander and was stationed in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. 

In the Bicol Region, he also held positions as Brigade Commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, Captain of Bravo Company, 66th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, Battalion Commander of the 31st Infantry (Charge) Battalion, and Commander of the 22nd Infantry (Cadre) Battalion under the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division. 

In these roles, he oversaw the brigade's efforts to neutralize all four front secretaries of the Guerilla Fronts being confronted in Davao, as well as the complete dismantling of guerillas.

Moreover, he served as the head of the Army Marksmanship Training Unit (AMTU), which is currently the Marksmanship Training School under the Training and Doctrine Command. His duties included participating in national and international marksmanship contests and implementing training programs for the entire Army.

As the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the 9th Infantry Division, Division Inspector General, and Chief Staff of the 10th Infantry Division, he further refined his leadership skills and commitment to service. Bergante graduated seventh in the Philippine Military Academy's "Bigkis-Lahi" class of 1990.

He also received the highest grade in the Infantry Officer Basic Course before enrolling in the Australian Defense College's General Staff and Command program in Canberra in 2006.

He completed the Comprehensive Crisis Management Course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii, and holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman as well as a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia. DEF

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