By Francis Wakefield
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. commended members of the military’s Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) for ably supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP) in ensuring that the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte was shielded from any form of violence.
In a statement, AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said the chief of staff was very pleased with the outcome of their preparations for the SONA as it turned out to be peaceful and orderly.
Arevalo stressed that through planning and its efficient execution were key in ensuring the success of their preparations.
“The Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. commends the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region under Brig. Gen. Abraham Claro C..Casis who formed part of the contingent that lend support to the Philippine National Police,” Arevalo said.
“The same recognition Gen. Galvez extends to the force-in-reserve from the General Headquarters that were on standby ready to be deployed,” he added
Earlier about a thousand soldiers from the AFP General Headquarters (GHQ) and AFP Wide Service Support Units (AFPWSSUs) assembled at the GHQ Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City for the Chief Executive’s SONA.
The AFP accounted all available officers and enlisted personnel with the exception of those who were on duty manning their respective units and offices. The troops were put on standby mode ready for dispatch in support of the PNP which led the security efforts during the occasion.
As part of its measures, the AFP also raised its alert level to ‘red’ within GHQ and AFPWSSUs since Friday to indicate its immediate readiness in responding to any threat that may arise during the occasion.
The JTF-NCR took the lead in supporting the PNP’s operations as it deployed 1,021 personnel from the Army, Air Force, and Navy. They were complemented by four armored vehicles, 16 M35 trucks, 19 KM450, seven ambulances on standby, and seven special purpose vehicles.
The JTF-NCR also positioned three Infantry companies, two infantry platoons, seven civil disturbance management companies, three search and rescue response teams, one air defense asset team, and two CBRNE Teams.