New WESCOM, NOLCOM chiefs hit ground running

Rear Adm. Alberto Carlos and Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. visited troops on the ground as they performed their first official duties as newly designated commanders of the Western Command (WESCOM) and Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), respectively.

Carlos joined the troops of the Tactical Operations Wing - West (TOW-West) as he personally delivered relief packs to the victims of Typhoon "Odette" in Paly Island in Taytay, Palawan on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Rear Admiral Alberto Carlos, commander of Western Command, poses for a photo-op with local government and military officials in Taytay, Palawan on Jan. 29, 2022. (Courtesy of WESCOM)

The care packages were received by the residents of Brgy. Paly headed by Kagawad Goefry Mahusay with Marlene Laurio, of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Taytay, and the troops of 3rd Marine Company of Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 led by 1LT Harry John Osabel.

"Rear Admiral Carlos joined the mission to personally see the situation in the remote islands of Palawan which were severely devastated by the typhoon," the WESCOM said in a statement.

Carlos, who took the leadership of WESCOM last Jan. 21, also visited the troops in the area and thanked them for their continuing service and commitment to the people of Palawan.

Meanwhile, Torres visited the headquarters of Joint Task Force (JTF) Kaugnay and Joint Task Group (JTG) Agila in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on Friday, Jan. 28.

Torres was accorded with the traditional full military honors by the officers and men of JTF Kaugnay led by Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo and JTG Agila commander, Col. Norwin Pasamonte.

Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of Northern Luzon Command, talks to troops of Joint Task Force Kaugnay and Joint Task Group Agila in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on Jan. 28, 2022. (Courtesy of NOLCOM)

As part of his visit, Torres personally gave his guidance to the troops via face-to-face meeting and video-teleconferencing, among of which was his guidance to intensify the campaign to end the local communist armed conflict.

"President Duterte gave us the marching order to finish the local communist armed conflict by the end of his term this June 2022. Let's continue to press on our campaign to eliminate the remaining communist terrorists," said Torrea, who assuned leadership of NOLCOM on Jan. 24.

He noted that the military will ensure that all the communist rebels who return to the fold of the law will be given a chance to be reintegrated to mainstream society through the government’s social intervention programs.

He also congratulated the troops for their operational successes, particularly the voluntary surrender of 61 communist rebels and supporters, discovery of two arms and food caches of the enemies, and recovery of five low-powered and seven high-powered firearms since January 1, 2022.

"As your commander, let us continue to march in cadence with the Filipino people to attain the national vision: Para sa isang matatag, maginhawa at panatag na pamumuhay para sa bawat Pilipino (For a stronger, more comfortable, and peaceful living for every Filipinos)," Torres concluded.