From the Baguio Midland Courier (Oct 7): PAF chief vows less combat in missions
The new commanding officer of the Tactical Operations Group 1 of the Philippine Air Force vowed Monday that aside from combat and security assistance, his unit will be at the forefront of search and rescue operations.
Lt/Col. Onorlie Brillantes, newly installed PAF-TOG1 chief, said his experiences in his previous assignments will help in sustaining the gains of the unit under his predecessor Col. Dennis Estrella.
Estrella, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1991, led TOG1 as the best unit of the PAF 1st Air Division, which covers the entire Luzon.
He will assume as the new operations chief of PAF 1st Air Division.
Brillantes said his unit will sustain the search and rescue assistance extended by PAF TOG 1 during disasters, aside from relief operations and security assistance during internal security operations.
Before his assignment to TOG1, Brillantes, a member of PMA Class 1993, was the head of the Air Warfare Division of the PMA for three years. He was also the deputy commander of TOG3.
He is the husband of Dr. Celia Brillantes, an outstanding citizen of Baguio and senior health official at the City Health Services Office.
M/Gen. Raul V. del Rosario, 1st Air Division commander, who presided the turnover rites at the Baguio Airport, acknowledged Brillantes’ leadership and managerial skills, which were reasons he was chosen for the position.
Del Rosario urged Brillantes to lead his unit in establishing partnership with communities, local government units, and private partners under his area of jurisdiction.
He said PAF TOG1 serves as a model among units under the 1st Air Division for its active involvement in non-combat missions ranging from medical and dental outreach programs and disaster risk reduction and management training, among things.
The PAF 1st Air Division exercised command and control over five Tactical Operations Groups.
The thirty five (35) participants from different provinces in Mindanao representing their respective Non-government organizations (NGO’s) and People’s Organizations (PO’s) attended the activity.
The objective of the program is to enhance the participants’ understanding of Conflict Resolution and other related components.
Mr. Abdulla Cusain, BTC Communication Head expressed his gratitude to I CAN for sponsoring the program as well as to the participants for their active involvement in peace-building measures that contribute in the course of promoting peace in Mindanao.
He also gave a brief update on the status of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is still pending in Congress.
Introduction and program overview were presented by I CAN Team leader and Resource person Mr. Edwin Antipuesto. He emphasized the program objectives and its relevance to the current situation. “Conflict Resolution is a complex and challenging effort, it helps to stop human made catastrophe from getting any further bedlam” he said.
During the first session of the program, Antipuesto elucidated his lecture on Non- Violent Communication by emphasizing its dynamics and proactive approaches in dealing with conflict situation.
In day two sessions, Mr. Jess Torreto lectured on Mediation by underlining its important concepts and applications. Equipping oneself with appropriate knowledge and broad understanding of conflict resolution and mediation processes are the centerpiece in peace-building efforts before engaging in conflict resolution, he stressed.
In afternoon session, the participants were also taught on the basic concepts and applications of negotiation. The resource person presented different methodologies related to negotiation. The participants also simulated the negotiation type engagement through workshop activity.
The last day session centered learning skills on how to facilitate a dialogue with the speaker cited the essential elements of productive dialogue and on how to establish line of consistent communication and intent of reaching a common goal.
“Confidence building is the first step in Conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation” Mr. Antipuseto said.
Before the program ended, the participants engaged in re-entry planning for their next engagement related to the topics discussed.
A the end of the activity, the participants in their messages expressed their heartfelt gratitude to I CAN and J- BIRD for sponsoring series of training workshops that are very helpful to the Bangsamoro. They also thanked the resource persons for their very enlightening discussions and the knowledge imparted to them,
The message of gratitude and appreciation were also extended to the BTC and BLMI for conceptualizing and implementing the capacity and competency enhancement program.
In closing message, Ms. Akiko Matsuur, Project Manager of ICAN Foundation expressed her appreciation to BTC, BLMI and the participants for their participation and responsiveness in pursuit for genuine peace and inclusive development in Mindanao.