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Hambala replaces Niembra as 10th ID commander

BRIGADIER General Allan Hambala will be the acting commander of the 10th Infantry Division, effective Friday, Sept. 15.

Hambala, the assistant division commander,  will replace Major General Jose Eriel Niembra who bows out of military service at the age of 55. 

The change of command ceremony was conducted on Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. with Lt.Gen. Roy Galido, as the Guest of Honor and Speaker held at its Headquarters in Brgy. Tuboran Mawab, Davao De Oro.

Prior to his designation as acting 10ID commander, Hambala was the current assistant division commander.

He was previously assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G1, in the Philippine Army,  and former Commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade based in Agusan del Sur under the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro city.

Hambala is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sambisig” Class of 1991, the same class as Niembra.

Meanwhile, Niembra became the 10ID commander for seven months and 18 days since January 28 this year.

Prior to his position, Niembra was the inspector general of the Philippine Army.

He served as Presidential Security Group (PSG) deputy group commander and eventually as PSG commander from April 2018 to January 2020. 

He likewise held key posts such as deputy commander of the Task Force Davao of the 10th Infantry Division; executive officer of the 401st Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (4ID); and battalion commander of the 58th Infantry Battalion, 4ID; and brigade commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

Moreover, during the stint of Major General Niembra as 10ID commander, the region remained insurgency-free and peaceful. 

In an interview, Major Mark Anthony Tito, the spokesperson of 10ID, explained that Niembra will bow out of military service earlier than the 56 retirement age since he has not been yet promoted to a 3-star rank for his three years as a 2-star rank.

This happened as based on the new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) law. 

Republic Act No. 11939, signed by Marcos on May 17, amended RA 11709, which had prescribed a fixed three-year term of duty for the AFP chief and other top military officials.

Signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte last year, RA 11709 was designed to promote continuity in the AFP’s programs by discarding the “revolving door” policy, which saw some military officials staying in their posts for only a few months.

Wherein, the new law prescribed a maximum tenure-in-grade of three years for generals or admirals, lieutenant generals or vice admirals, and major generals or rear admirals, and five years for brigadier generals or commodores.

Under the new law also,  the AFP chief of staff shall have a maximum tour of duty of three consecutive years, which shall start on the date the appointment is signed, unless sooner terminated by the president.

The chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Navy, and the Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) shall have a maximum tour of duty of two consecutive years. They shall not be eligible for any position in the AFP unless promoted to the position of chief of staff

Previously, the AFP chief of staff, vice chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, the chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Navy, the chiefs of unified commands, and the inspector-general had a fixed tour of duty of three years while the PMA superintendent had a four-year term.

The new law also states that an officer must have at least one year remaining in active service before compulsory retirement to be eligible for promotion to brigadier general or commodore or higher, except for the posts of AFP chief, Army, Air Force, and Navy chiefs and PMA superintendent.

The retirement age for military officers with the rank of second lieutenant or ensign to lieutenant general or vice general was raised from 56 to 57. 

A soldier shall be compulsorily retired if he or she reaches retirement age or upon accumulation of 30 years of satisfactory active duty, whichever comes later.


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