By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed on Tuesday the appointment of Army Colonel Jesus Durante as the new commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), tasked to ensure the safety of President Duterte and the First Family.
Davao City-born Col. Jesus Durante replaced Brig. Gen. Jose Niembra in the top PSG post effective Feb. 25.
Meanwhile, Niembra was appointed the new brigade commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army stationed in Mati, Davao Oriental.
According to Colonel Ramon Zagala, AFP public affairs office chief, Colonel Durante is a “full-blooded Scout Ranger.”
Durante graduated from the Philippine Military Academy “Tanglaw Diwa” Class of 1992. Prior to occupying the top PSG post, he served as the commander of the presidential escorts battalion of the PSG.
Durante also became the commanding officer of the Army’s 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion, 1st Scout Ranger Regiment.
“His battalion was instrumental in the conduct of combat operations against various internal security threats in Mindanao,” Zagala said.
Durante spent 11 years with the First Scout Ranger Regiment, assuming various positions including platoon leader, company commander, battalion operations and intelligence officer regiment G3, and battalion commander, Zagala said.
Durante also held multiple key assignments at the Philippine Army and AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
In 2007, Durante served with the United Nations Mission in Sudan as a military observer in Wao, South Sudan.
Under his name are 13 Gold Cross medals for gallantry in action and 10 military merit medals.
He also received the PMA Alumni Association, Inc. Cavalier Award for Army Operations in 2003.
Zagala said the AFP is confident Durante will be able to ensure the safety and protection of the President.