4ID chief relieved but Army says 'nothing to do' with wounding of Mayor Guingona

NPA formation. FILE PHOTO
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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines -- Major General Nestor Anonuevo, commander of the 4th Infantry Division based at Camp Edilberto Evangelista here, has been relieved effective “immediately” although the Army said this had nothing to do with the wounding of Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona by the New People's Army.

Brigadier General Ricardo Visaya, assistant commander of the 6th ID, will be installed as “acting commander of the 4th ID anytime from this afternoon to Monday.”

Anonuevo has been recalled to Camp Aguinaldo.

However, while acknowledging they received a “warning order” about Anonuevo’s impending relief earlier this week, Colonel Rolando Dumawa, 4th ID civil-military relations chief stressed it had “nothing to do with the ambush of Mayor Guingona.”

“General Anonuevo is being recalled to higher headquarters because they need him there,” he said.

Guingona was wounded and two of her aides killed early this week in what authorities claim was a New People’s Army ambush but which the rebels say was a firefight triggered when the mayor’s security escorts rammed through the rebels’ checkpoint and opened fire.

“Only one thing is sure -- there will be a turnover of commander. We are waiting for the final scheduled which will come from higher headquarters,” Dumawa said.

Anonuevo’s recall to Camp Aguinaldo, said Dumawa, is “just a normal happening in the military.”

“Only higher ups know the reason why he is being recalled.”

Anonuevo assumed command of the 4th ID in the last week of October 2012.

Aside from the wounding of Guingona, Anonuevo’s stint was also marred by the NPA raid on the headquarters of food giant Del Monte in Bukidnon province in February.