Aquino appoints Air Force general to AFP's third-highest position
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MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III has appointed another member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Mapitagan” Class of 1980 to the third-highest position of the Armed Forces, Public Affairs head and spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. announced on Friday.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal, current commander of the Lipa City-based Philippine Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC), will officially assume the post of Deputy Chief of Staff on Monday.

The PMA Class ’80 is becoming the ruling class in the Armed Forces following the appointments of a good number of them in key positions in the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Gen. Nicanor Bartolome.

The group has adopted Aquino’s four sisters – Pinky, Viel, Balsy and Kris – as honorary members or “mistah”. It was not clear if the President was also adopted by the group.

The TDCS position was vacated by Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara (PMA Class ’79) who was earlier laterally appointed as commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) based in Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac City, the home province of the President where the Hacienda Luisita is located.

Other members of the class currently holding key positions include Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Lauro Dela Cruz; Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Maj. Gen. Noel Coballes; Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations (J-7) Rear Admiral Miguel Jose Rodriguez; Commodore Zyril Carlos, chairman of the AFP Bids and Award Committee (BAC); 2ndInfantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario; 10th ID chief Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia; Intelligence Service-AFP chief Ronnie Cesar Ordoyo; 1st ID chief Brig. Gen. Ricardo Rainer Cruz III; Brig. Gen. Teodoro Cirilo Torralba III, senior military adviser of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), among others.

Although Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista graduated with the Class of 1981, he was an original member of Class 1980. The head of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Vice Admiral Edmund Tan, also belonged to Class ‘80.

Macapagal’s previous assignments were as acting deputy commander at 3rd Air Division, and deputy Wing Commander of the 410th Maintenance Wing.

 A native of Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, he graduated from the PMA in April 1980 and later finished Undergraduate Pilot Training on June 30, 1981.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Colegio de San Juan De Letran; and later, a Masters in Defense Studies from Kings College in London in 2004.

Macapagal is married to Lorna Macapagal and they have 4 children – Mia Airan, Noel Christi, Julian Philip and Angelo.

Macapagal will be replaced as AETC commander by Brig. Gen. Edgardo Samonte, the current Chief of Air Staff.

Other new designations: Brig. Gen Raul Dimatatac will assume the position of Chief of Air Staff; Col. Rene Santos will replace Dimatatac as the 506th ABW commander; Santos’ current position as Deputy Commander of the National Capital Regional Command (NCRCOM) will be taken by Col. Manuel Ramiro, the current Deputy Commander of the National Development Support Command (NADECOM); Col. Bobby Calleja, the current Inspector General of the 2ndInfantry Division, will assume command of the 203rd Infantry Battalion; NCRCOM’s Chief of Staff Col. Vic Castro will assume as Commander of 702nd Infantry Brigade; Col. Rolando Malinao will assume as Commander of the 803rd Infantry Commander; and Col. Ernesto Cimatu will assume as Chief of the AFP Chaplain Service.