June 17, 2024

Baguio’s decorated military officer, M/Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., is the new commanding general of the Philippine Army.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has signed the appointment of Brawner on Dec. 7 as the Philippine Army’s 65th commanding general, succeeding now Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Lt./Gen. Andres Centino.

The 53-year-old Brawner was AFP deputy chief of staff for financial management before he assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City this year.

In a statement, Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said the Palace is confident Brawner will continue the reform initiatives of his predecessors pursued to transform the largest branch of AFP into a more dynamic and professional organization true to its mandate to serve the people and secure the nation.

A member of Philippine Military Academy Makatao Class of 1989, Brawner proved his worth and excellence in holding various positions in the AFP, including being the head of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City in 2018 where he vowed to go after the remnants of the Maute terror group and ensure the successful rehabilitation of the war-torn southern city.

Prior to this assignment, he was assigned as commander of the AFP Civil Military Operations Regiment.

He also led in ensuring the peaceful and orderly conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019.

On the same year, he was installed corps commandant of PMA and initiated a campaign against hazing following the death of 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio due to maltreatment along with three other cadets.

During a stint as commander of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, Brawner and Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto developed a counterinsurgency program called Prosperity Program that combined AFP’s bayanihan team concept and the purok power movement of Bohol to address poverty and insurgency in the remotest areas of the country.

The program was later adopted by the AFP in its nationwide insurgency campaign.

Brawner also once served as AFP public affairs chief and Philippine Army spokesman.

In 2013, Brawner was awarded as one of The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers, an annual recognition honoring outstanding soldiers for their dedication, bravery, professionalism, and sacrifices in the military service.

In 2011, he was invited to represent the Philippines to the U.S. International Visitor Leadership Program on foreign policies by then Ambassador Harry Thomas.

Brawner traces his roots to Kiangan, Ifugao. He is a son of the late Romeo Brawner Sr., a former Court of Appeals justice and commissioner of the Commission on Elections; and Dr. Lenora Fe, an archer who guided Baguio archers to national competitions.

His uncle, retired B/Gen. Felix Brawner, served as AFP Scout Rangers commander during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship. – Hanna C. Lacsamana with a  report from PNA