CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City - The Armed Forces of the Philippines' Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) welcomed its new Commander on 04 September 2017 as Lieutenant General Romeo Tanalgo bows out of military service in reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
 
"Present Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Major General Emmanuel Salamat will replace LTGEN Tanalgo in a Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony to be held at Camp Aquino in Tarlac City with AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año as Presiding Officer and Guest of Honor and Speaker," AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.
 
LTGEN Tanalgo was the former Commander of 2nd Marine Brigade and Commandant of PMC before he was designated as Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP and then as Commander of NOLCOM.
 
He was selected as one of The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers in 2009 for spearheading the Operation Plan "Matikas" that served as the roadmap for cultivating peace and development in Sulu.
 
He also received the Civil Service Commission Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in 2012 and the Metrobank Foundation's Award for Continuing Excellence in Service in 2013.
 
As Commander of NOLCOM, LTGEN Tanalgo led on 30 April 2016 the hoisting of the Philippine flag on Mavudis or Y'ami island chain, a gesture signifying the country's sovereignity in its northernmost territory.
 
This was followed by the mounting of an underwater flag on 12 June 2017 in the Philippine Rise off the coast of the province of Aurora.
 
Formerly called the Benham Rise, the Philippine Rise was declared by the United Nations as part of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone in 2012.
 
LTGEN Tanalgo is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983.
 
Incoming Commander
 
MGen Emmanuel B Salamat is one of the finest among contemporary generals the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). He epitomizes the amalgam of a Marine warrior and a compassionate leader.
 
He is cut and dried for the position as Commandant or of loftier positions like Commander of Northern Luzon having gone through the different echelons of command and leadership in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
 
From command of a Marine Platoon shortly after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy "Sandiwa" Class of 1985, he rose to Company, Battalion, and Brigade Commands. He reached the pinnacle of his career in the PMC when he was installed as the Commandant of the Corps- a position most coveted by every Marine Officer.
 
He was the Commander of Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 stationed in Central Mindanao that won the Philippine Marine Corps Best Battalion "Kahusayan" Award in 2005.
 
He was also the Brigade Commander of the 1st Marine Brigade that was adjudged as the Philippine Navy and Philippine Marine Corps Brigade of the Year for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the Western Mindanao Command's Best Combat Brigade for the year 2015.
 
His demonstrated efficiency and innovations in the conduct of Triad Operations, Special Operations Training, and competence in Command Staff planning and management greatly contributed to the high level war-fighting capability and readiness of all the units and offices he led.
 
MGen Salamat is a fellow of Centre for Defense and Strategic Studies of the Australian Defense College which equips its students with the competency to operate at the strategic level.
He is a Masters Degree holder from Deakin University in Melbourne Australia.
 
As such, he is expected to make immense contributions in tackling issues that beset his Area of Responsibility in Northern Luzon that spans Bajo de Masinloc in the West, to the Balintang Channel in the North, to Philippine Rise in the East.
 
"His 38 years of service to the AFP has been a continuous showcase of the superb leadership and personality that has made our honoree earn the reputation as one of the most prolific officer in the AFP," said General Año during the Change of Command and Turnover Ceremony.
 
"To MGEN Salamat, with your credentials and abilities, I expect that you will continue to lead NOLCOM in being the champions of peace here up north. My marching order is for you to ensure the sovereignty and integrity of our country in this area with only the Philippine Flag flying on our terrestrial, aerial, and maritime domains," General Año added.