By Donna Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has a new chief for civil military operations, three months into the implementation of a new counter-insurgency plan, Bayanihan, which gives equal importance to community projects in "winning the peace."
Navy Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez, assumed office as deputy chief of staff for civil military operations (J7) on Friday, the AFP announced over the weekend.
Rodriguez replaced Army Brig. Gen. Nonato Peralta Jr. who was named Philippine Military Academy (PMA) superintendent following the retirement of Vice Adm. Leonardo Calderon on March 11.
A member of PMA Class 1980, Rodriguez was commander of the Fleet-Marine ready Force, before being appointed J7.
"CMO (civil military operations) is where my heart belongs,"he said during the turnover ceremonies.
He described Peralta as his mentor with whom he worked in the commemoration of the Battle of Sibuyan.
Rodriguez said the Filipino tradition of bayanihan or community spirit "is what civil military operations is about."
Rodriguez had served as assistant chief of staff for CMO for the AFP Western Command (Wescom) and chief of the evaluation and research branch of the Office of the Secretary of the AFP joint staff.