TASK Force (TF) Davao will now have its new commander as Philippine Army Colonel Darren Comia is set to assume his position, replacing Colonel Consolito Yecla.
Comia assumed his position on Tuesday, July 5.
During the change of command ceremony, the new TF commander said he will continue the legacy of his predecessor in achieving peace and combat against terrorism.
Comia also said he will strengthen Davao City’s Culture of Security, which was formally launched in 2020.
He also ordered his men to do their job.
"To the officers, men, women of Task Force Davao, there is only one thing I ask of you: do your job and serve your purpose excellently every day because I as your Task Force commander, is committed to do the same," Comia said.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced on Monday, July 5, Comia's appointment.
The mayor expressed her gratitude to Yecla's three-year service, making the latter the longest-serving TF Davao commander since the group was created in 2003.
She said Yecla's tenure was extended because of the Covid-19 response.
Duterte-Carpio described the outgoing TF commander as "intelligent" and "resourceful."
"One thing I noticed sa iyaha is dili siya nagahulat nga suguon siya kung unsa ang buhaton (He doesn't wait for any instructions as he has the initiative). He sits down, he thinks about the situation, and he acts on what he thinks is needed to be done as part of the anti-terrorism operations of Task Force Davao to protect Davao City," she said.
This includes Yecla’s initiative of deploying TF Davao personnel in vaccination centers and swabbing centers, which are "potential target of terrorism."
"We thank him for his hard work and service to the country," she said.
Under Yecla's leadership, the city strengthened its security and anti-terrorism efforts with the launching of the "Culture of Security," a people-centered campaign that encourages Dabawenyos to adopt vigilance to their way of life.
It was also during his term that the campaign "May Nakita? Dapat Magsalita!" was launched, encouraging the public to report suspicious individuals and activities immediately to security units.
In addition, the implementation of Maximum Security Zones in Roxas Avenue and San Pedro Street, the implementation of the "No Backpack Policy" in public convergence, and the implementation of the enhanced border control as part of the city's heightened Covid-19 surveillance are some of the programs implemented during Yecla's term.
Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, challenged Comia to maintain the city's security against terrorism activities.
“Ang measure sa usa ka TF commander is kung dunay insidente, terrorism incident na mahitabo (One of the measures of a TF commander is if there are incidents of terrorism) during his stint as TF Davao commander, he will be a failure kung naay mahitabo na terrorism incident diri sa atoang siyudad sa Davao (if there are incidents of terrorism in Davao City),” the mayor said.
Prior to his designation as TFD commander, Comia was the chief of staff of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He also served as the commanding officer of the 16th Infantry Battalion operating in Paquibato District in 2017.
Yecla will be transferred to the 1003rd Infantry Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division in Barangay Mahayag.
TF Davao was created on April 16, 2003, in response to a series of bombings in the city.