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Westmincom deactivates Joint Task Force Ranao

ZAMBOANGA City — The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has deactivated one of its special task forces, commending its commander for “meritorious and valuable service.”

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, spearheaded the deactivation ceremony of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Ranao on Monday at Camp Basilio Navarro, which houses the Westmincom headquarters in this city.

“We have to deactivate JTF Ranao because we deemed it necessary and feasible to give the commander of the 1st Infantry Division a chance to command all the forces under his joint area of responsibility,” dela Vega explained.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, is also the commander of JTF Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces).

Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Westmincom deputy chief for operations, was recognized for his service as commander of the deactivated Joint Task Force Ranao during the ceremony.

Dela Vega conferred the Distinguished Service Medal on Ponio for “his initiatives and innovations that propelled the JTF Ranao in the accomplishment of its mandated mission.”

Dela Vega noted that Ponio has “successfully synergized” the efforts of ground units and transformed his unit into a strategic and dynamic body, capable of addressing the complex demands of Task Force Bangon Marawi during the initial phase of the post-war rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.

“He (Ponio) is an epitome of an officer and gentleman, and he had, no doubt accomplished the mission,” dela Vega said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has activated the JTF Ranao to replace the defunct JTF Bangon Marawi, which was dissolved a few days after October 27, 2017 when the conflict in Marawi City ended.

The activation of the JTF Ranao and dissolution of the JTF Bangon Marawi marked the start of full-scale rehabilitation of Marawi City. (pna)

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