Monday, August 5, 2013

Joint Task Force GenSan gets new head

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 5): Joint Task Force GenSan gets new head

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has designated a veteran Army officer to spearhead the security operations in this city.

Col. Victor Tan, a former assistant commander of the Army's 1102nd Brigade based in Sarangani Province, formally assumed over the weekend as the new commanding officer of the Joint Task Force GenSan.

He replaced Col. Manuel Ramos, who headed the Army-led task force in the last nine months.

Tan, who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy's Class of 1982, previously headed Army's 72nd Infantry Brigade and the Task Force Kitaco, which was assigned to secure the copper and gold mining areas within the tri-boundaries of Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

Kitaco stands for the municipalities of Kiblawan in Davao del Sur, Tampakan in South Cotabato and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat.

The three municipalities hosts the proposed large-scale copper and gold mining project of the foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc., which figured in a number of attacks in the last several years from the communist New People's Army.

With his assumption as head of the city's joint security task force, Tan assured residents on Monday of sustained peace and order within the city's 26 barangays.

The official said they are presently reviewing and evaluating the task force's security plan to determine whether they are still relevant with the area's situation.

“We will implement some changes and set new strategies if necessary,” he said in an interview aired over a local television station.

Tan said among his priorities is the strengthening of their coordination with the city police office, especially in the conduct of joint security operations and exchanges of intelligence information.

He said the task force will further beef up their security checkpoints, especially those located at the entry and exit points of the city.

“We're looking at jointly manning these checkpoints along with the local police and have joint activities on other aspects of the city's security,” he added.

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