Major Ezra Balagtey, Public Infromation Officer of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command says the Joint Task Force Haribon is activated amidst the changing security landscape in Davao City. ( file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Eastern Mindanao Command has formally launched Joint Task Force Haribon on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan here.

Joint TF Haribon is composed of Task Force Davao, Task Force Samal, Philippine Navy, Philippine Airforce and the Tactical Operations Group XI.

“The Joint Task Force Haribon is activated amidst the changing security landscape in Davao City with the emergence of the place as the alternate seat of the government and the venue for international events,” Major Ezra Balagtey, public information officer of the EMC said in a statement.

He said the joint task force will assist the Presidential Security Group in securing the President and other very important personalities (VIPs).

Davao is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, who served as city mayor for more than 22 years. The President also receives guests here. The Presidential Guest House is also located in the Department of Public Works and Highways compound in Panacan.

City Mayor Sara Duterte said the activation is very relevant in the coming years as various national and international events to be held in the city, including Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meetings.

Mayor Duterte, who was the guest speaker during the ceremony on Saturday, vowed to give full support to the operations of Haribon.

That the Joint Task Force is called Haribon, she said, is very appropriate. Haribon comes from the words Hari (king) and Ibon (bird) or King of the Birds — in reference to the strong, fierce, and powerful Philippine Eagle.

“Haribon is indeed very appropriate,” she said. “Let us be vigilant. Let us be strong.”

Balagtey said  JTF Haribon will be under the operational control of Eastmincom.

“So air, land and sea capabilities of the AFP will now be integrated to enhance the security of Davao City and its immediate peripheries (to include sea lanes) from terrorism and other threats,” Balagtey said.

The task force will be commanded by Brigadier General Ronnie S. Evangelista, a former commander of the Special Forces Regiment. (

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