The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday installed the erstwhile commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) as the military’s new intelligence chief.

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Brigadier General Alex Luna formally assumed office as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2, in a ceremony held at the AFP General Heaquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Luna took over from Major General Greg Almerol, who was assigned to lead the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) based at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

“I urge you to sustain the progress started by your predecessors and perform your tasks with utmost commitment and dedication. We trust in your abilities and we look forward to more accomplishments under your helmsmanship,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, as he presided over the Change of Office rites.

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Prior to the new assignment, Luna’s leadership at the JTF-NCR was instrumental in the military’s COVID-19 response efforts in Metro Manila, which was the most affected region by the pandemic, while continuing the command’s counter-insurgency operations.

The JTF-NCR headed by Luna also helped secure the penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Duterte last July.

His expertise in the field of intelligence operations came from his experiences in the Army Intelligence Regiment, including his designation as Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, G2, in his early career.

Luna had also been assigned in Eastern Samar as the commander of the 801st Infantry Brigade and co-chairman of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee which urges communist rebels to surrender and transform their lives.

Meanwhile, Almerol’s leadership at the AFP intelligence office resulted in the killing, arrest, and surrender of 2,234 enemy forces through 148 intelligence operations and 284 case operations.

“During his stint, Maj. Gen. Almerol has broadened the security perspective of the AFP by enhancing the intelligence operations that address the nation’s stability against various threats despite the challenges brought by the pandemic,” Kagaoan said. 

Almerol officially assumed his post as the commander of 2ID last September 11.

He replaced Maj. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., who was assigned to be the commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NolCom) following the retirement of Lt. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey.

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