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CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bids farewell to Brigadier General Oliver R. Artuz, Chief of Intelligence Service, AFP (ISAFP) and Brigadier General Cesar D. De Mesa, Chief of the AFP Peace and Development Office (AFPPDO) in separate ceremonies held here on Friday, July 24.

The AFP Chief of Staff, General Felimon T. Santos Jr. presided over the joint change of chief of office and retirement ceremony via teleconferencing at the General Headquarters Building while AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Antonio Ramon A. Lim led the ceremonies at the AFP Commissioned Officers Country.

Brigadier General Jose Eriel M. Niembra took over as the new ISAFP Chief while Brigadier General Francisco Ariel A. Felicidario III assumed as the AFPPDO Chief.

“Brigadier General Artuz’ accomplishments in more than three decades of military service demonstrate his dedication and selfless service. For everything that he has done for the Service and the whole Armed Forces, it is only fitting that we give him due recognition and praise,” said General Santos.

Brigadier General 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.

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. 

The Service also conducted COVID-19 related activities such as providing a comprehensive study and recommendations on the best practices of countries in fighting COVID-19 used by the AFP in briefing the members of the Cabinet.

ISAFP has also successfully achieved the AFP Transformation Roadmap Institutionalization Pathway “Institutionalized Status” in the Performance Governance System pathway of good governance attaining the Gold Governance Trailblazer Certification with a rating of 95.15%.

The new ISAFP Chief, Brigadier General Niembra on the other hand is a worthy successor at the helm of ISAFP said General Santos.

“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,” General Santos said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Lim praised the outgoing AFPPDO Chief for leading the office in 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,” Lieutenant General Lim said.

Brigadier General De 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 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.

It was also under his leadership that the second phase of the Decommissioning Process for MILF was held, wherein 12,000 combatants and 2,100 weapons were decommissioned and 617 ammunitions for different fire arms were turned over to the Independent Decommissioning Body.

Brigadier General Felicidario who succeeded the post previously 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.

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