AFP Chief of Staff visits NOLCOM
Camp Aquino, Tarlac City (6 December) -- Even on a Saturday, General Ricardo A. David Jr., Chief of Staff of the 120,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines received a very warm welcome from the men and women of Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) during his visit here shortly before noon last December 4.
The Commander of NOLCOM prior to his designation as AFP Chief of Staff, General David showed exuberance as he enumerated the current thrust of his administration which focuses on initiatives that will not entail shedding of blood to win the war versus the enemies of state. He cited the crafting of an Internal Peace and Security Plan which will be open to everyone including the members of the media.
He also mentioned about the suspension of offensive military operations against the New People's Army from December 16, 2010 to January 3, 2011, the longest ceasefire period declared by the government. General David stressed that notwithstanding the lull, the AFP will be in a "defensive mode" to ensure that the enemy will not take advantage of the situation in staging surprise attacks against unwary targets.
The former NOLCOM Commander also reminded the troops particularly the units in the field to strictly observe human rights. He never failed to impress this on every soldier in any unit he visited all over the country since he assumed as AFP head for he strongly believed that the war can be won by simply being good soldiers ? an opinion shared by many officers including his successor ? Lieutenant General Gaudencio S. Pangilinan.
He also updated the troops regarding the Senate's proposal to increase the combat duty pay of officers and enlisted personnel who receive measly salaries and allowances despite the perils in the performance of their jobs. If the AFP has enough savings, extra cash will be released representing commuted seven-day leave of military personnel amounting to P10,000 each this holiday season.
As a highlight of his visit, General David personally awarded the Military Commendation Medals of the following personnel who performed remarkably well during his incumbency as NOLCOM Commander from June 16, 2009 to July 8, 2010: He also pinned the rank insignias of newly promoted enlisted personnel.
A Command Conference followed his lunch with key officers of NOLCOM and other units under its operational command and control where the direction of the AFP's internal security operations was discussed. (PIA) [top]