THE military-led Joint Task Force (TF) Haribon, a conglomeration of all security forces in the city and surrounding provinces, has a new commander.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said Colonel Gilbert Gapay was installed as the new commander of Haribon to replace Brigadier General Ronnie Evangelista.
Gapay assumed post in a turnover ceremony held at the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao in Panacan, Davao City on December 15.
Before his assignment to TF Haribon, Gapay was a former assistant division commander of the Mechanized Infantry Division and brigade commander of the Philippine Army in Lanao.
"His vast experience being assigned in various positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected to infuse innovations and security concepts of the Joint Task Force Haribon in securing Mega Davao," Balagtey said.
Balagtey said Gapay is an aviator and armor officer and a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1986 where he graduated top of his class.
He will also serve as the concurrent deputy commander of the Eastmincom.
The TF Haribon was activated by the military last October this year to expand its operations in ensuring security in the Davao region, particularly as Davao City is now becoming an alternative seat of government.
Balagtey added Haribon will also secure other areas near Davao City like the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and the province of Davao del Norte.
TF Haribon is composed of Task Force Davao, Task Force Samal, 84th Infantry Brigade, the Philippine Navy, and the 11th Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force.