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Army Special Forces to help PSG protect Duterte

A young girl show the figure of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte selling for P1,000 at the Philippine Toys Hobbies and Collectibles convention or Toycon 2016 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. (Ali Vicoy)

A young girl show the figure of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte selling for P1,000 at the Philippine Toys Hobbies and Collectibles convention or Toycon 2016 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. (Ali Vicoy)

COTABATO CITY (PNA) – The next President will have the 5th Army Special Forces Battalion – trained and tested in Mindanao’s war zones – watching his back, military officials revealed over the weekend.

Captain Joann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6th ID), confirmed that the Army Special Forces Battalion stationed here will form part of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) assigned to secure President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Petinglay said the 6th ID is honored to have someone under its administrative and operational control joining the elite PSG.

She confirmed the information last Saturday as she announced that the 5th Army Special Forces Battalion commander, Colonel Ranulfo Sevilla, was to be replaced by Lt. Colonel Nazzer Lidasan, currently assigned to the Civil Military Operations (CMO).

The change of command marks a reshuffling of key posts, like that of Brig. Gen. Noel Clement, 602nd brigade commander based in Carmen, North Cotabato, being replaced by Col. Manolo Samarita. Clement was named Philippine Military Academy (PMA) commandant.

Lt. Colonel Orlando Edralin, 7th Infantry Battalion commander, has bade farewell to his unit which has been facing North Cotabato’s lawless elements and outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, 6th ID chief, administered Saturday’s turn over of command from Edralin to Lt. Colonel Ciriaco Lomas-e.

After almost two years commanding the 7th Infantry “Tapat” Battalion, Edralin declared that he was leaving a battalion composed of well equipped, well disciplined, well trained, combat ready and human rights defenders.

The turnover rites were held at the battalion headquarters in Barangay Lower Paatan, Kabacan, North Cotabato.

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