By Priam Nepomuceno and Azer Parrocha
MANILA — Newly-appointed Philippine Air Force (PAF) commander, Maj. Gen. Allen Paredes, on Thursday expressed his willingness and commitment to be a father and friend to all personnel of the Air Force.
“I am committed to continue the path, to be a father and friend to all of you. I will value and listen to you, bring out the best in you, defend and grow with you through thick and thin,” Paredes said in his speech during the change of command ceremony at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
With the InSTEP as the PAF’s core values, Paredes expressed his belief that their job also requires them to exemplify three virtues which are” Diwa, Galing, and Malasakit” (Consciousness, Excellence, and Concern). InSTEP is short for Integrity, Service, Team, Excellence, and Professionalism.
Paredes said InSTEP will boost their resolve to have a corruption-free and drug-free Air Force.
“All Air Force leaders must lead to motivate, capacitate and empower airmen, enable sustainment and preservation of force capabilities, attain combat power with sharpened capabilities and deliver the desired outcome for joint, combined and interagency operations,” Paredes said.
He also called on Air Force personnel to be first on the scene to fulfill their missions, including anti-drug and disaster relief operations
Paredes said his first order as PAF commander is to dispatch additional personnel and equipment to help Filipinos affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
He said “soar as one” means keeping up with the Air Force’s aspiration for force development and good governance.
President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile urged the country’s troops to sustain the fight against terrorism and other acts of lawlessness under Paredes’ leadership.
“Under his direction and guidance, I hope that you will embody strength and fortitude in ensuring lasting peace in our homeland,” Duterte said.
He hailed the PAF for its contributions and accomplishments in the areas of internal security operations, disaster response, and its strong support to law enforcement and peacekeeping efforts.
The President also assured the PAF that his administration will continue to boost their morale, efficiency, and responsiveness through continuous capacity building and other meritorious initiatives.
The President also bared that the PAF will receive substantial assets under the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.
“Rest assured that our country is behind you as you bravely soar to greater heights in order to secure genuine and lasting peace for the benefit of the Filipinos,” he added.
Paredes formally replaced retiring Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez.
Prior to his appointment as PAF chief, Paredes was former wing commander of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing from February 2016 to July 2018.
Paredes was also among the members of a committee that probed the plane crash that killed former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in August 2012.
He is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Maringal Class of 1988. (PNA)