Former elite counter-insurgency commander now Eastmincom deputy

Feb. 09, 2016

DAVAO CITY – A former commander of the Philippine Army’s elite unit trained in counter-insurgency operations in the country is now the Eastern Mindanao Command’s (Eastmincom) deputy commander.

Brigadier General Ronnie S. Evangelista replaced Brig. Gen. Harold Cabreros, who is now the new commander of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Capiz in Western Visayas, on Tuesday, February 9.

Army spokesman, Captain Alberto Caber said Evangelista graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1986 and held various positions:

  • Commanding Officer of Light Reaction Battalion, Special Operations Command (SOCOM)
  • Commandant of Special Forces School, Special Forces Regiment Airborne (SFRA), SOCOM
  • Assistant Chief of Staff for Comptrollership, NCRCOM, AFP
  • Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3 SOCOM
  • Commander SFRA, SOCOM.

Eastmincom is one of the unified commands of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Its operations are focused on combating against the New People’s Army, protecting the government’s peace process, and providing humanitarian assistance during disasters.

Evangelista was welcomed by the Eastmincom troops on Tuesday inside its headquarters in Panacan, this city. He was also given a briefing about the peace and security in Eastern Mindanao.

The AFP’s unified command in Eastern Mindanao was rocked by a controversy in August 2015. At the time, its then spokesperson — Colonel Eduardo Gubat — “grossly distorted” a United Nations(UN) Special Rapporteur’s statement on the condition of hundreds of displaced Lumads who evacuated from remote villages in the region to Davao City due to indiscriminate firing of civilians allegedly carried out by the military and paramilitary group Alamara.

The military immediately issued an apology after Chaloka Beyani, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, called Gubat out. The spokesperson was sacked on August 13, 2015.

Evangelista’s assignment to Eastmincom happens as the military escalates its security operations in Davao Region as a result of its increased armed confrontations with the NPA. (

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