Armed Forces chief of staff Lt. Gen. Jesse Dellosa opened up an account in the social networking website Twitter on Friday, saying it will be ground troops’ “direct access” to him.

Dellosa, through @CSAFPDellosa, became the first Armed Forces chief to have a Twitter account, according to military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos.

Dellosa maintains the account personally though he may not access it regularly due to his busy schedule, Burgos said.

“I was curious on what it can do to help the organization to reach out to our soldiers in the field. This is their direct access to me,” Dellosa said in a statement after media learned of his account.

As of 4 p.m., Dellosa already gained 108 followers from only about 40 in the morning.

Many of the followers were mediamen, media entities, and self-styled “newshounds,” apparently waiting for news first and directly from the military chief.

Even deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte is now following Dellosa.

“I was encouraged by my children to embrace social media,” the AFP chief said.

“I have realized that social media can be a very effective feedback mechanism not only to address concerns of our ground units but also to help spread developments brought by our IPSP (Internal Peace and Security Program) Bayanihan Campaign,” he said.

Burgos, for his part, said that even though soldiers now have a “direct access” to the AFP, they should first air their concerns to direct superiors, just like what the doctrine of “chain of command” dictates. (John Roson)

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