President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the change of command rites Tuesday of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), expecting the elite command to continue providing excellent protection to him, to the members of his family and to visiting foreign dignitaries.
In his speech during the event held at the PSG Grandstand in Malacañang Park, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to the new PSG commander, Col. Jesus P. Durante III, for stepping up to the challenge of being the next PSG head.
“I trust that under your supervision, the PSG will be able to continue the excellent provision of security to the Office of the President, to my family as well, and to the visiting heads of states and diplomats. I look forward to working with you in the coming months,” he told Durante.
He also thanked the members of the PSG for their efforts in performing their duties, noting “every one of you has truly shown undaunted courage and unbridled patriotism by choosing to be of service to our beloved country.”
“With high integrity and valor, let us remain united in safeguarding our institutions as it strives to bring about a more social, secure, peaceful and dignified life for the Filipinos,” the President said.
Recognizing the achievements of former PSG commander Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra, the Chief Executive praised him for taking steps towards ensuring the PSG personnel’s continued training classes and schooling to advance their careers.
“Sir, your efficiency and effectivity in the discharge of your duties have certainly inspired the entire PSG to strive for excellence, whatever their positions may be,” he told Niembra.
The PSG, under Niembra’s leadership, provided security to the President during the 2019 elections, the 3rd and 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), and the 30th Southeast Asian Games, as well as the 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition.
The elite group also protected President Duterte during his 19 foreign and 1,250 local engagements. The PSG also secured Heads of State and Ambassadors during their visits in the country.
Colonel Durante, the new PSG head, holds a master’s degree in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Tanglaw-Diwa Class of 1992.
Prior to his appointment as PSG chief, he was the commanding officer of the Presidential Escorts of the PSG. Durante also commanded the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion of the First Scout Ranger Regiment of the Philippine Army before joining PSG. PND