Members of the UN Peacekeepers of the 20th Philippine Contingent to Haiti (20th PCH) during their send-off ceremony inside Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Philippines, July 8, 2016. (Photo by Mr. Boiser/IDG)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed Friday a 135-strong peacekeeping contingent to quake devastated Haiti. The send-off ceremonies at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City was headed by AFP chief General Ricardo Visaya, Army commander Lieutenant General Eduardo Ano, Air Force chief Lieutenant General Edgardo Fallorina, AFP chief-of-operations Major General Carlito Galvez and AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center head Colonel Eugenio Hernandez.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the 135-strong Filipino contingent will serve in Haiti for one year.
The contingent is the Philippines’ contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Operations worldwide.
To date, this is the country’s largest deployment after the Philippines pulled out its contingent in Liberia and Golan Heights.
The 20th contingent is led by Col. Rosalio Pompa of the Philippine Army and is supported by a complement of 15 officers and 119 enlisted personnel, 14 of whom are women.
They will replace the former contingent which will arrive in the country on July 11. PNA/ northboundasia.com
A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, Visaya is the 48th chief of staff of the AFP. Prior to his appointment, he was the commander of the Southern Luzon Command based in Quezon.
Visaya, a member of Philippine Military Academy “Matikas” Class of 1983 formally receives his fourth star today during the donning of ranks ceremony led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana at Camp Aguinaldo.
The promotion of Visaya to the second-highest rank of four-star general came exactly a week after he assumed the post of AFP chief.
The highest rank given in the Philippine military is that of “five-star general.” The President and commander in chief receives an honorary rank of five-star general making him the first rank holder in the military.
Ten Commissioned and Non-Commissioned officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are proclaimed as this year’s awardees of the Metrobank Foundation – Rotary Club Makati Metro Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS). The announcement was made during a Press Conference held on June 20, 2016 at the General Headquarters of the AFP in Camp Aguinaldo. The winners were also presented to acting AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda and other members of the AFP during the flag raising ceremony.
The awardees from the Philippine Army are: Lieutenant Colonel Eliglen Ferrer Villaflor PA, Technical Sergeant Danilo delos Santos Ramos PA, and Technical Sergeant Bernardo Labao Tacbas PA. On the other hand, the awardees from the Philippine Navy are: Lieutenant Wilfredo Baylon Manalang, Jr. PN(M), Staff Sergeant Albert Dangan Eleazar PN(M) and Intelligence Specialist Chief Fernando Junio Parcon PN. While Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Alina Bañaria PAF, Master Sergeant Abel Lim Idusma PAF and Technical Sergeant Andersen Daing Avellana PAF are the winners from the Philippine Air Force. Meanwhile, Colonel Jocelyn Pancrudo Turla, from the Technical Administrative Services completes this year’s batch of winners.
“The Search for TOPS is the civilian society’s expression of genuine appreciation and gratitude for the men and women in the Armed Forces – for their sacrifices and dedication in pursuing our shared dreams of a safe and peaceful nation. We believe that the civilian and private sector’s support, cooperation, admiration, and respect should accompany the role of our soldiers as protectors of our sovereignty and defenders of our national patrimony. This year, we welcome a new batch of Outstanding Philippine soldiers who selflessly serve and protect our nation. They are considered as our modern-day heroes who showed not only unremarkable courage and nationalism, but concern for other people and their communities as well. They are our country’s pride and hope for a peaceful and secured nation,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña.
A multi-sectoral Preliminary and Final Board of Judges selected this year’s finalists. The members of the Preliminary Board of Judges were: De La Salle University College of Law Dean, Atty. Jose Manuel I. Diokno; Ateneo de Manila Law School Dean, Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria; CNN Philippines Anchor and Host, Amelyn Veloso; TV5 TV and radio anchorman, Martin M. Andanar; International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov) Board of Trustee and Corporate Secretary, Jose T. Deles, Jr.; Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches (PCEC) National Director, Bishop Noel A. Pantoja, and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Secretary-General, Fr. Marvin Mejia.
The Final Board of Judges who chose this year’s winners was chaired by Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, Andres B. Reyes, Jr., and Civil Service Commission Chairperson, Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala. The members of the Final Board were:TV5 Network, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Ramon C. Lorenzana; Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija, Most Rev. Roberto C. Mallari; PLDT-Smart Foundation, Inc. President, Esther O. Santos; Cathay Pacific Steel Corporation President, David O. Chua, and St. Louis University President, Fr. Gilbert B. Sales, CICM, Ph.D.
“This is a humbling experience for me. I’m really emotionally touched because I could feel for their hard work, their hardships, I could understand their problems and shared for hope for a better country,” said Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Andres B. Reyes, Jr. “This is the first time I see hand to hand personally how they act, they live, what are their dreams, how do they manage to be good soldiers, despite of all the obstacle that the country gives them,” Reyes added.
The awardees will be presented as Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos together with the winners of the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) and Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS) on September 5 as part of Metrobank’s anniversary celebration.Each TOPS awardee will receive an increased cash prize of half-a-million pesos (PhP 500,000.00) and a trophy.
Among this year’s awardee is Lt. Col. Eliglen Ferrer Villaflor of the Philippine Army who was at the forefront of the combat and civil military mission in Basilan. As Commanding Officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, he was able to significantly contribute to the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements — with the recapture of a rebel stronghold and recovery of other encampments and firearms. There were also several rebels killed and injured in a series of encounters against the Abu Sayyaf in his two-year stint. He also led the capture of Jerry Ibon Alam, one of the most wanted figures in illegal drugs in Basilan.
Lt. Col. Villaflor believes that achieving peace could not be resolve by combat alone, but through working with the communities and winning their support. His civil military operations have highly impacted Basilan where thousands have received the benefits of his initiatives. “From Camp to School, From Guns to Books” was one of his successful campaigns where the military was able to transform a captured Moro National Liberation Front camp into a school campus. Lt. Col. Villaflor also pioneered Project Masjid where non-Muslim entities participated in the preparation and celebration of Ramadan. Initiated activities involved cleaning and beautification of mosques and peace keeping and security of the mosques and Muslim brothers and sisters.
We also have TSgt Andersen Daing Avellana from the Philippine Air Force. TSgt Avellana has undergone numerous specialty courses such as the Basic Electronic and Communication Course, Ground Radio Course, Basic Weapons Mechanic Course, and Aircraft Engine Mechanic Course in New Zealand, which made him a remarkable Weapons Mechanic Technician. One of his shared innovations in PAF was the repair of ten (10) pieces of intervalometer which is known as an essential part in any rocket launchers activity. As the lead, he carefully studied the overhaul process of the intervalometer and given a budget of PhP 13,465.00, he was able to restore the said part which led the PAF save PhP 1.5M.
TSgt Avellana always exceeds on what is expected of him, with his dedication and hard labor he was also able tocomplete the repair of three (3) optical sightsof MD520-MG Aircraft which saved the PAF PhP400, 000.00. TSgt Avellana is a recipient of many awards, including the PAF Enlisted Personnel of the Year & INSTEP Awardee for Professionalism, given to those personnel who religiously show commitment in improving the current state of PAF in terms of existing equipment and weaponry innovation.
Now on its 17th year, the TOPS Search has become the highest and most sought after civilian award given to military personnel. The Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS) honors the valor, gallantry, and self-sacrifice demonstrated by the men and women of the AFP in partnership with the RCMM.
All previous TOPS awardees are now members of the TOPS alumni organization called TOPSOLDIERS (The Organization of Philippine Soldiers with Outstanding Leadership, Dedication, Integrity, Excellence, and Responsibility to Society) conducting pay-it-forward projects in communities. (Source: Metrobank FB)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will be joining the nation as we celebrate the 118th anniversary of our freedom on June 12, this coming Sunday.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Kalayaan 2016: Pagkakaisa, Pagaambagan, at Pagsulong.”
The public will be able to witness the traditional civic military parade at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park on Sunday, which will also be attended by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III.
The AFP Civil Relations Service will be performing at the Open Air Auditorium in Luneta on June 11 for the “Musikalayaan Concert.”
Aside from the AFP Major Services Combo Bands, the bands of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology will also be performing on the said concert.
The AFP Static and Kinetic Display will be performing in Lapu-Lapu area of the Luneta Park tomorrow from 8am to 5pm on June 12.
“The participation of the AFP in the celebration of the Philippine Declaration of Independence is to honor the heroes who fought for our country and the people. This also serves as a renewal of the commitment of the Filipino soldiers, as a testimony of their unwavering perseverance in fulfilling its mandate to serve and protect people, uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity and to remain as this nation’s catalyst for peace and development.” [with DZRH Florante Rosales | Photos by SSg Calagui/IDG]
BGen Rhoderick Parayno, CRSAFP commander personally expressed his appreciation to the honorees for supporting the Armed Forces throughout their term during the retirement ceremonies for retiring senior Non-Commissioned Officers held at the Civil Relations Service, Multi-purpose Hall in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
In his speech, MSg Rosendo Z Pamati-an thanked the people he have met along the way. He is grateful for the experiences while wearing the Army uniform, including this one, today.
“What am I bringing with me as I leave active duty? The friends, the relationships, the mementos, and the memories. I am also leaving with some more wisdom in my soul, a few less defenses around my heart, a wonderful family, and a future full of life.” he added.
The heart, the soul and the life’s blood of every military formation is its people. The success of this great Alliance—an Alliance for good—rests squarely on the shoulders of its people… and that success depends heavily on the NCOs who serve as trainers, mentors and most importantly leaders.
Today, the CRS is in grateful recognition of the members who are retiring from a career of long, faithful, and honorable service. Each retirees receives a Command Plaque and a Certificate of Commendation.
Their wives were given a Certificate of Appreciation for their unselfish, faithful and devoted support to their husbands lasting contribution and dedicated service tot he Armed Forces of the Philippines and to our nation.
NEW WARRIOR DIPLOMATS: The Armed Forces of the Philippines CMO Family through AFP CMO School, Civil Relations Service AFP welcomes our new Warrior Diplomats from the members of the Strategic CMO Officers Online Course Class 10-16 during the closing ceremony of the said course. BGEN RESTITUTO F PADILLA, AJ7 AFP graced the occasion as guest of honor and speaker with BGEN RHODERICK M PARAYNO, Commander, CRSAFP.
NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) is already set to help ensure the conduct of safe and secure election on May 9, 2016.
In close coordination with the COMELEC and in partnership with the Philippine National Police, EMC will be overseeing Regions 11 and 13, parts of Region 12 and Region 10.
On several occasions, inter-agency meetings were conducted between the AFP, PNP and the COMELEC to fine tune election security plans and preparations that will create an environment allowing the people in the mentioned regions to cast their votes.
Aside from the synchronized troop deployment between the EMC forces and PNP, the readiness requirement includes the activation of Election Monitoring Action Centers and Quick Reaction Teams at all levels.
Facilities and equipment were also readied for utilization if the COMELEC so requires.