AFP activates Joint Task Force 'Bicolandia'

By Priam Nepomuceno

June 12, 2018, 10:30 am

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally activated its Joint Task Force "Bicolandia" Monday in line with the ongoing efforts to secure the entire Bicol Region.

Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, said the move aims to integrate air, sea, and land units in the area to fully secure the entire Bicol Region, including the offshore island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes.

"The formal activation of the Joint Task Force 'Bicolandia' is a clear indication of our persistence to usher in the best improvements for the AFP and is a concrete step that we have taken to further fortify the quest of the AFP, particularly the Southern Luzon Command, to bring and sustain peace and security in the Bicol Region," AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said during Monday's activation ceremonies.

Joint Task Force "Bicolandia" will be headed by 9th Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Jesus Manangquil, Jr. It will take under its helm the division and supported by the Tactical Operations Group 5 and the Naval Forces Southern Luzon.

The unit will be under the direct command and supervision of Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, Detoyato added.

"'Bicolandia' will perform the vital task of protecting from security threats the region's budding economic landscape, vast agricultural sector, and popular tourist hubs, as well as in orchestrating joint operations in response to emergency situations," he stressed. (PNA)