MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Philippine Army Colonel Jesus Durante III as the new commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Malacañang announced on Monday, February 24.
Durante will formally replace Brigadier General Jose Eriel Niembra in a change of command ceremony on Tuesday, February 25, to be led by Duterte.
The PSG is the close-in force in charge of securing the president, the vice president, their immediate families, former presidents and vice presidents, and visiting heads of state.
A native of Davao City, Durante graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Tanglaw Diwa Class of 1992. He is currently the commanding officer of the PSG’s Presidential Escorts Battalion.
Durante is a “full-blooded Scout Ranger” and “one of the most bemedaled officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” according to his profile from the Philippine Army.
Before joining the PSG, Durante was the commanding officer of the Mindanao-based 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion of the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment, an elite unit of the Army.
He earned a master’s degree in defense analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in California, United States, in 2012. He also has a master’s degree in public management, major in development security, from the Development Academy of the Philippines.
Durante was a military observer with the United Nations Mission in Wau, South Sudan, in 2007. In 2003, he received the PMA Alumni Association’s Cavalier Award for Army Operations.
Niembra, the outgoing PSG group commander, is set to become the brigade commander of the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade under the 7th Infantry Division, stationed in Mati, Davao Oriental. – Rappler.com
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