AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center
|Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Center|
Centro de Operaciones del Mantenimiento de Paz de las FFAA.
Unit Seal of the AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center
|Active||March 21, 2002 - Present|
|Branch||Uniformed Services Joint Service|
|Size||1000+ Joint Forces Unit|
|Part of||Under the Armed Forces of the Philippines|
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge
|COL ROBERTO T ANCAN INF (GSC) PA|
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Center is one of the wide support units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
It is tasked with the training, deployment, and management of Filipino international peacekeepers throughout the world. and serves as the liaison of the Philippine Government with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
The AFP PKOC trains and deploys Filipino peacekeepers from various units of the AFP. It also accommodates the training of peacekeepers from other uniformed services of the Philippines, such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Fire Protection. So far, however, only the AFP and PNP has deployed peacekeepers to UN missions.
President Benigno Aquino III ordered the thorough review of all peacekeeping missions that the Philippines has participated in, or are currently contributing to, to ensure that the welfare of the troops are well taken care of. This came after Filipino peacekeepers assigned to UNDOF were captured and held by Syrian rebels after conducting a routine patrol.
Past Commanding Officers
- Colonel Abraham Claro C Casis, Philippine Army (PA)
(1 March 2011 – 22 February 2015)
- Colonel Gregorio M Cayetano, PA
(19 April 2009 – 1 March 2011)
- Colonel Flaviano M Valdehueza Jr, Philippine Air Force (PAF)
(4 February 2008 – 19 April 2009)
- Colonel Dante D Balao, PA
(15 February 2005 – 4 February 2008)
- Colonel Mario A Mendoza, PA
(27 January 2004 – 15 February 2005)
- Colonel Emmanuel I Amat, PA
(23 April 2003 – 27 January 2004)
- Lieutenant Colonel Joel I Ibañez, PA
- Headquarters Support Unit
- Peacekeeping Operations School
- Mission Support Office
- United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC)
- United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
- United Nations Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (MINUCI)
- United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI)
- United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB)
- United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
- United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)
- United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
- United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haïti (MINUSTAH)
- United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC)
- United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)
- United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste (UNMISET)
- United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL)
- United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT)
- United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
- United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS)
- United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF)
Since 2000, female Filipino soldiers have been deployed as contingent troops, their roles usually being administrative or clerical in nature; or as individually deployed peacekeeping force staff (now military staff officers) and military experts on mission.
In 2000, the AFP sent its first female UN Blue Berets, all enlisted personnel, to UNTAET. Meanwhile, the AFP's first female commissioned officer to be hatted the UN Blue Beret was Major Josephine O Tanzo, Philippine Marines, who was part of the Fifth Philippine Contingent to Liberia.
Notable Filipino UN Blue Berets
- Lieutenant General Jaime S de los Santos AFP
In 2000-01, Lt Gen de los Santos assumed the post of UNTAET Peacekeeping Force Supreme Commander. He led 8,500 personnel from 19 troop-contributing countries (TCCs) in the multidimensional peacekeeping operation that transitioned the Indonesian province of East Timor into the Republic of Timor-Leste.
- Major General Natalio C Ecarma III AFP
In 2010-13, Maj Gen Ecarma assumed the post of UNDOF Commander and concurrent Head of Mission. He led 800 personnel from 10 TCCs in the traditional peacekeeping mission that was established to keep the peace between Israel and Syria, particularly in the disputed Golan Heights.
- Lieutenant Colonel Jose L Rancudo, PAF
In 1963, ONUC mission authorities appointed Lt Col Rancudo as Commander of the ONUC Fighter Wing, the UN's first air force. He thus led pilots and air crew from Iran, the Philippines, and Sweden.
- Staff Sergeant Antonio M Batomalaque PA
Part of the First Philippine Contingent to Haiti, Ssg Batomalaque was assigned as the driver of Lt Col Robert Casias, a high-ranking MINUSTAH peacekeeping force staff seconded by the United States Army. In April 2005, while inspecting the notorious Cité Soleil district in the Haïtian capital, Port-au-Prince, Casias and the rest of the MINUSTAH team came under attack by gangsters. Batomalaque swiftly responded by providing covering fire to Casias and other colleagues, in the process sustaining a fatal gunshot wound a few millimeters above the nape. For his display of heroism that cost him his life, Batomalaque was posthumously awarded the US Soldier's Medal. He is the sole Filipino UN Blue Beret to die by hostile fire.
- Balao, Colonel Dante D and Annanette B Cruz-Salazar. Global Kawal. Quezon City, The Philippines: Armed Forces of the Philippines. 2008. ISBN 978-971-92556-3-5
- Ancan, Colonel Roberto T and Annanette B Cruz. Global Kawal: The Filipino Soldier in the United Nations Blue Beret (Second Edition). Quezon City, The Philippines: Armed Forces of the Philippines. 2015. ISBN 978-971-92556-4-2
- "The Philippine Armed Forces Capacity for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations". oai.dtic.mil. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "PNoy orders review of all UN peacekeeping missions of Filipino soldiers abroad". interaksyon.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Philippines wants better protection for UN troops". bigstory.ap.org. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "AFP sends off peacekeeping missions to Haiti, Liberia - Yahoo News Philippines". ph.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Philippines to deploy more 100 peacekeepers in Darfur - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". sudantribune.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Philippines to send more UN peacekeepers to Haiti | Inquirer Global Nation". globalnation.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- Alejandrino, Charlemagne S and Annanette B Cruz-Salazar. National Pride, World Peace. City of Pasig, The Philippines: Makabayan Publishing House. 2010. ISBN 978-971-94613-0-2
- "RP soldiers begin Golan peacekeeping mission | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online". gmanetwork.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "RP deployment to UN peacekeeping mission hits all-time high : balita.ph". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "PHILIPPINES: PHL Pushes For Participation Of Women In UN Peacekeeping - News Library - News & Events - PeaceWomen". peacewomen.org. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "RP to send more women peacekeepers - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos". globalnation.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2014-05-12.