Duterte names ex-PSG commander as ISAFP chief
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Brig. General Jose Eriel Niembra as the new head of the Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).
"The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appointed former Presidential Security Group commander Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra as the new Intelligence Service of Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday.
"We wish BGen Niembra all the best in his new assignment," he said.
Capt. Jonathan Zata, AFP public affairs chief said Niembra assumed his new position during the joint change of chief of office and retirement ceremony on Friday.
"Brigadier General Jose Eriel M. Niembra took over as the new ISAFP chief while Brigadier General Francisco Ariel Felicidario III assumed as the AFP Peace and Development Office (AFPPDO) chief," he said.
Zata said the ceremony was presided by AFP Chief of Staff, General Felimon Santos Jr. via teleconferencing at the General Headquarters Building .
AFP Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. General Antonio Ramon Lim led the ceremonies at the AFP Commissioned Officers Country.
During the ceremony Niembra replaced Brig. General Oliver Artuz, while Felicidario succeeded Brig. General Cesar De Mesa.
In his speech, Santos expressed confidence that Niembra is a worthy successor as he also recognized the accomplishments of Artuz.
“I am confident that the newly posted Chief, ISAFP, Brigadier General Niembra, would be able to inspire and lead Team ISAFP to greater milestones in the future. The AFP leadership will support you in all your endeavours,” Santos said.
Zata said Artuz was designated as Deputy Chief of ISAFP on December 10, 2018 before being appointed as ISAFP Chief on February 12, 2020.
"Among his previous assignments were as Senior Military Assistant to the President and Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Personnel, Eastern Mindanao Command," he said.
"Under Brigadier General Artuz, 697 target personalities from various threat groups were neutralized through ISAFP’s unilateral and joint operations with other AFP units and law enforcement agencies," he added.
Lim praised De Mesa for overseeing the AFP’s peace initiatives in support to the government’s peace agenda.
“With different sectors supporting our peace-building efforts, Brigadier General De Mesa has contributed to the transformation of AFPPDO and the AFP as a vital ally to various stakeholders,” Lim said.
Zata saidDe Mesa was appointed as AFPPDO Chief on July 12, 2018. Prior this, he was the Deputy Brigade Commander of 601st Brigade, 6th Infantry Division Philippine Army in Mindanao.
He was also deployed as Military Observer for the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor in December 2000 to 2001 and UN Mission in Sudan in October 2005 to 2006, he said.
Zata said De Mesa "led the AFPPDO in assuring the military’s representation to peace and development activities especially for the Bangsamoro Organic Law and Normalization Programs under the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro. These effectively relayed the military’s staunch support to the initiatives aimed at obtaining peace in Mindanao."
Under De Mesa, the second phase of the Decommissioning Process for MILF was held, where 12,000 combatants and 2,100 weapons were decommissioned and 617 ammunition for different fire arms were turned over to the Independent Decommissioning Body, he said.
Felicidario held various assignments particularly in Mindanao as the Brigade Commander of the 102nd Brigade and 101st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army and as the Assistant Division Commander of 11th Infantry Division based in Jolo, Sulu, added Zata. Robina Asido/DMS