Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Joint task force to replace AFP's metro command

MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is creating a joint military task force that would protect the seat of the national government in line with the scheduled abolition next month of the National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM).

AFP chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa said the soon-to-be formed joint military outfit will be headed by a one-star general instead of a two- or three-star general.

“From two, three-star general, siguro magiging one-star general na lang. But still this is in [the] roundtable discussion,” Dellosa said, referring to the NCRCOM's deactivation and the setting up of a new unit.

Dellosa, meanwhile, clarified that the anti-coup unit will not totally go, but only being trimmed into a lean military outfit.

Under a new set up, which Dellosa also said is still under study, the unit is only being downgraded and will have a new name.

“It will no longer be an area command but it will still be based at the NCRCOM... but under a new name,” Dellosa said.

He added the joint military task force will be put in harness in July, upon compulsory retirement of NCRCOM commander Maj. Gen. Tristan Kison.

The NCRCOM was created into an area command in Oct. 13, 2003 or two years following the ascension to power of then President and now detained Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

As the former National Capital Region Command (NCRDC), the unit figured prominently in defeating at least nine coup attempts against the then administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino III.

During the Arroyo regime, the unit was largely credited in defending and securing the seat of political power from military rightists and civil society groups.

Composed of Army, Air Force and Navy personnel, NCRCOM has operational jurisdiction over the entire Metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces.

At present, the soon-to-be deactivated NCRCOM has more or less 1,500 personnel on top of other friendly units from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

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Jaime Laude | The Philippine Star | June 11, 2012 | Article Link

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