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Bergante takes helm of EastMinCom; vows to end insurgency

MAJOR General Luis Rex Bergante officially assumed command of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) on Friday, June 7, 2024, during a ceremony presided over by AFP Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. in Camp Panacan.

Bergante, in his speech, vowed to work toward ending the insurgency problem within the EastMinCom area. 

“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 one guerilla front, zero firearms, zero strength, and zero barangay affectation,” he added.

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

“The basic underlying concept on this is that dapat maintindihan at maisapuso ng lahat ng tropa from the commanders down to the most junior soldier, sailor, and airman, is 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 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.

He acknowledged the growing threat to national security and pledged to work alongside his team to address it.

“To the men and women including the 4th Infantry ‘Diamond’ Division, 10th ID, Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao, and the Naval Forces of Eastern Mindanao of Team EastMinCom, let us continue working together to achieve our mandate. Tapusin na natin kaagad ang insurgency at merong lumalabas na mas malaking concern, that is the threat to our national territory,” he further said.

Bergante replaced EastMinCom acting commander Maj Gen Jose Maria Cuerpo II, the current 4th Infantry Division commander based in Cagayan de Oro City, in a change of command ceremony on Friday morning.

Brawner recognized the challenges faced by EastMinCom and highlighted the successes achieved through dedicated resources and leadership. He praised Bergante’s team and urged him to utilize them effectively.

“You have big shoes to fill in, this area command for a long time the priority area the priority unified command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and it paid that we made this the priority, so we poured in resources, we poured in units, we brought the best officers to this command, in order for us to be able to achieve what we have achieved already,” Brawner said.

“You have a very good team here in Eastmincom. You have very good components and brigade commanders. Because the success of Eastmincom and Division lies on our brigade commanders. Take advantage of them and use them to their fullest in order to achieve what we have set for here in EastMincom,” he said.

Also in his message, Cuerpo expressed gratitude for the opportunity and emphasized his focus on maintaining operational momentum.

“Just barely a week ago I stood here as the acting commander of EastMinCom seeking your support as I feel this demanding position in a temporary capacity,” Cuerpo said.

Cuerpo added, “While I may have served as acting commander for a very limited time, I take this as an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills to learn from the experience and to contribute to the organization. I fully subscribe to the idea that greatness to the leadership is not measured by tenure but by impact, the lives you get to change and task.” 

“To the new commander, may you sustain the standard set by the previous leadership with your branded credibility in decision-making processes and admirable leadership we at least know that the suitable leader for the command is stirring is help, to the team EastMinCom daghan kaayong salamat,” he further said.

Prior to the appointment of Bergante, he served as the 59th commander of the Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army on Feb. 27, 2023. 

Throughout his career, Bergante held significant positions, he was the assistant commander of the 7th “Kaugnay” Division, based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

He also served as commander of Bravo Company, 66th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, Battalion Commander of the 31st Infantry (Charge) Battalion, and 22nd Infantry (Cadre) Battalion under the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division in the Bicol Region, Brigade Commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, where he led the brigade in the neutralization of all four front secretaries of the Guerilla Fronts being confronted in Davao and the total dismantling of Guerilla Front 33.

He was also the commander of the Army Marksmanship Training Unit (AMTU), now the Marksmanship Training School, Training and Doctrine Command, tasked to implement Army-wide marksmanship training programs and participate in local and international shooting competitions. 

His leadership characteristics and dedication to duty were further honed when he was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the 9th Infantry Division, Division Inspector General, and Chief Staff of the 10th Infantry Division.

Bergante is a proud member of the Philippine Military Academy “Bigkis-Lahi” Class of 1990 where he graduated number 7. An academic achiever, he also graduated number one in the Infantry Officer Basic Course and took up his command and General Staff Course at the Australian Defense College in Canberra, Australia in 2006.

He has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and took the Comprehensive Crisis Management Course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bergante was born on Nov. 17, 1968, in Jaro, Iloilo City and happily married to former Miss Nadine Victoria Sevillano. They are blessed with two daughters namely Rexine and Jan.



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