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The new acting commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command assumed post Monday, vowing to curb insurgency and help assist humanitarian projects in the region.
Major General Eduardo del Rosario, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Mapitagan" Class of 1980, replaced Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali who retired after 38 years in the service. Change of command ceremonies was held at Camp Guillermo Nakar in Lucena City.
Prior to his appointment as acting SOLCOM chief, del Rosario served as the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, Rizal. Aside from being a Division Commander, del Rosario also served as a JSOG Commander AFP in 2006 and also became the commander of 1003rd Brigade in Mindanao.
In his speech, del Rosario vowed to upgrade SOLCOM's capability bothin the fight against lawless groups and also in disaster preparedness.
Del Rosario also stressed that SOLCOM’s mandate is not only to protect the people against the lawless elements but to assist the LGUs duringdisaster and humanitarian projects.
Meanwhile, Detabali was credited for launching over 102,000 combat operations that led to the arrest of 180 New People's Army (NPA) rebels and the surrender of 289 others in his two-year term. The operations also led to the recovery of 252 high-powered firearms.
Under Detabali's watch, SOLCOM reported a 40 percent decrease in NPA strength from 2007 to 2010, while a further 18 percent decrease was noted in 2011.
Election-related violence also decreased to 55 percent from 2007 to 2010 when Detabali organized Task Group Hope that oversaw the conduct of security and law enforcement operations during the local and national elections in Southern Luzon.