COMMANDING GENERAL, PHILIPPINE ARMY

cg pa 2LTGEN ROLANDO JOSELITO DELIZO BAUTISTA AFP is the current Commanding General of the Philippine Army. His irreproachable service reputation, inspiring leadership and impressive combat achievements earned him the top position to lead the 85,000-strong Philippine Army.
After graduating from the Philippine Military Academy in 1985, he volunteered to undergo one of the most difficult combat preparatory courses in the Philippine Army – the Scout Ranger Course. Having satisfactorily fulfilled one of the most coveted military specialization courses, he went on to pursue many others to include the Basic Airborne Course, Counter Urban Terrorist Operations Course, Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course, Air to Ground Operation Course, Infantry Officer Basic Course, and Command and General Staff Course. He also had the opportunity to take one of the career courses, the Infantry Officer Advance Course, in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. He went on to undertake other military courses and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the National College of Business Administration that added premium to his service
Being a Scout Ranger at heart, the then young lieutenant served with one of the Philippine Army’s elite Mountain Battalions of the First Scout Ranger Regiment as the Delta Company Commander from July 1987 to February 1988. His company came face to face with communist guerrillas, heavily engaging them in various encounters and arduous firefights during the height of the AFPs’ counter insurgency operations in Northern Luzon.

After his Scout Ranger assignment, he led the Joint Security Unit, Security and Escort Group, General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, as its Commanding Officer.
He was also given a chance to serve in International duty as military liaison officer for a year at the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 1999. This multi-national operation was instrumental in maintaining peace in East Timor during its transition to independence. Despite the language and cultural barriers in this tour of duty, he was able to effectively assist the administration of East Timor to create structures for sustainable governance.

One of his first key leadership positions was accorded to him on February 2005, when he became the Commanding Officer of the 73rd Infantry Battalion, which was initially attached to the 4th Infantry Division, and afterwards, to the 10th Infantry Division. He led the 73IB in supporting the peace and development efforts in several communities in Davao City and Davao del Norte, not to mention the numerous combat engagements that his unit initiated against the local communist terrorists in the area of operations of 10ID. After his stint as Commander of 73IB, he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for CMO, G7, where he harnessed the AFP soft power approach in gaining public support and legitimacy of the 10ID anti-insurgency campaign. Likewise, he took the challenge of engaging the media partners to promote the best interests of the Philippine Army and of the AFP.

As the Chief of Unified Command Staff of the Northern Luzon Command from February 2012 to October 2013, he efficiently and effectively resolved staff issues and concerns and ensured that the guidance of the Commander were strictly executed and were consistent with the AFP’s strategic thrusts. A year after this Luzon assignment, he was reassigned to Mindanao as Commander of Joint Task Force GENSAN to sustain peace and development efforts in General Santos City, and secure the city from the looming terrorist threats, which he successfully did.
In July 2014, he assumed position of Commander of 104th Infantry “Sultan” Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and concurrently headed the Joint Task Force Basilan, where he personally orchestrated the operations and supervised the troops to effectively address the Abu Sayyaf menace in the province. His operational and tactical shrewdness has led to the seizure of several enemy camps, including the first ever camp of the ISIS-inspired Dawlatul Islamiya Waliyatul Masrik (DIWM) in Albarka, Basilan, headed by the South East Asian ISIS Emir-Isnilon Hapilon. He also orchestrated the neutralization of the two most dreaded foreign Jihadists and bomb makers, Moroccan Mohammad Khattab and Malaysian Abu Anas.

His remarkable field accomplishments took him back to the National Capital region where he became the 31st Commander of the Presidential Security Group being tasked with the safety and security of the President and of the First Family. Then again, his passion for operations was heeded when he was designated as the 43rd Commander of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, nearly a year later. Having been in the unit for a meager two months, he led the Liberation of Marawi from the invading Daesh-inspired-Maute terrorists, thereby also earning him the position of Commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi. As the Task Force overseer, he warranted the synchronization of not only the joint forces of the AFP, but also of the PNP and the Philippine Coast Guard as well. The focused military operations in Marawi is one of the most successful military campaigns in the history of the AFP. The campaign, which lasted for five months, resulted to the neutralization of all terrorist leaders inside the main battle area to include the most wanted terrorist leader in the country, Isnilon Hapilon and all the Maute brothers; the recovery of more or less 900 high powered firearms and the rescue of all hostages. The Liberation of Marawi City, which LTGEN BAUTISTA orchestrated, symbolizes victory, brotherhood, courage, unity and collective leadership, that earned the Filipino people’s tribute, respect and appreciation for all the soldiers and police who fought for the liberation of the only Islamic City in the Philippines.

LTGEN BAUTISTA is a well-decorated combat officer and a known operations man who preferred to be assigned in the field and be with his men in the frontline. The gratification of his leadership emanates from fighting side by side with his men and from sharing the risks in the battlefield. He believes that to effectively lead, he has to be visible and should be within reach of his troops. In ensuring that the safety and morale of his troops are prioritized, he chooses to observe them first-hand in actual operations.

He has received various awards and commendations, with two prominent honors bestowed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Foremost of these is the order of Lapu-Lapu rank of magalong conferred to him for his significant contributions in the campaign to liberate Marawi City. He also received the award of the Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Officer), the highest award that the President can give, for his meritorious service as Presidential Security Group Commander, who was primarily responsible for the safety and security of the Commander-in-Chief of the AFP, of visiting dignitaries, the Seat of Government and other government installations as well as the conduct of various intelligence operations instrumental to the success of the President’s engagements. He was also awarded several Distinguished Service Stars for services rendered in positions of major responsibility, Outstanding Achievement Medals, Gawad sa Kaunlaran Medals, Bronze Cross Medals, Military Merit Medals, Military Commendation Medals, Commendation Medal from the US Army, United Nations Service Medal and Ribbon and the Presidential Streamer Award.

LTGEN BAUTISTA who was born and raised in Naguilian, La Union, is married to Ms Shirley Ann P Bautista of Naic, Cavite. They are blessed with three sons and a daughter: Ralph Simon, John Michael, Gabriel Matthew, and Marie Therese.

Philippine Army Leadership

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