2 top AFP officials swap posts to address ‘big maritime concerns’
MANILA — Two three-star military generals have swapped positions, barely two months before the May 9 national and local elections.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines vice chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo, exchanged posts with his classmate, the Northern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda.
Both officials are members of the Philippine Military Academy “Matikas” Class of 1983 and assumed their new posts on Thursday.
The AFP public affairs chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said the orders for the reassignment of the two officials were signed by President Aquino earlier this week.
He said the switch was a non-issue in the military and that the reassignments of commanders met certain objectives.
Some of these objectives are securing sovereignty, defeating internal threats, contribution to regional and international peace and security, and support to disaster risk reduction management.
“Rest assured that that these movements are in the best interest of the AFP, our country and our people,” Detoyato said.
He added: “I initially hesitated to disclose it, but there are really big and emerging maritime considerations. It is easy to preposition our assets, given our country is small so we really need to prioritize commandership.”
Tanalgo will be take over the Nolcom based at Camp Aquino in Tarlac, where he is in charge of two Philippine Army Infantry Divisions in Isabela and Nueva Ecija, a naval base in La Union and an airbase in Clark.
Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal off Zambales used to be under the jurisdiction of Nolcom, but responsibility for the shoal was transferred to the Western Command based in Palawan in 2014.
This was to place the external defense efforts under one commander, since the Wescom is in charge of the country’s claims in the Spratlys in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“The situation is very fluid right now so we have to adjust accordingly,” Detoyato noted.
He assured the public that the military had many highly qualified senior officers with varied fields of expertise, who could ensure optimum results in any assignment.
The number three position in the military or the deputy chief of staff is currently vacant as Lt. Gen Edgar Fallorina assumed his new post as commanding general of the Philippine Air Force on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the AFP chief of staff, General Hernando Iriberri will retire on April 22 as he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 for those in the military service. SFM