LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU— The Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) headquarters here will soon be the home of future Naval assets.
Phil. Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan disclosed this to the media after the change of command ceremony here on Tuesday morning.
“This is support to the sustainment of our naval assets in the future,” he said in a media interview.
Millan is challenging new Navforcen chief Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado to craft the plans so they can start the developments for Naval Base Rafael Ramos (NBRR) in barangay Looc in this city.
Millan noted that NBRR has become one of the vital hub for transport of evacuees and relief goods in typhoon stricken areas in the Visayas last year.
Millan said that they are looking at making NBRR as the Naval base of additional forces who will respond to future calamities- man-made and natural.
“Cebu is the hub of the support system in the evacuation as well as in the delivery of relief goods to the affected areas,” he told reporters.
“We would like this Naval Base will be developed so that we can have the necessary facilities that would accept the reception of additional forces or responders in the future for scenarios,” he added.
Apart from it, Millan said they have identified shipping companies here in Cebu that is capable of providing repair services for their floating assets.
Meanwhile, Millan announced that they will be expecting first delivery of one of the two strategic sealift vessel in 2016.
Millan said this is to support the Navy in its humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
He also added that there are two additional ships in the pipe line and is already in its second stage of process. ### (By Public Information Office, Central Command, AFP)
LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU— A Cebuano now sits as the new Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) chief after the change of command ceremony at Naval Base Rafael Ramos in barangay Looc in this city at 9a.m. today.
Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado replaces new Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief Commodore Reynaldo Yoma.
In his speech today during the change of command ceremony, Mercado reaffirms its commitment to work closely with Central Command (Centcom) in ensuring that the Visayas region will “remain a haven for business and tourism”.
“… where our countrymen can go about their lives in an environment peaceful, secured and orderly,” he said.
Mercado also assured of continued maritime security for the Visayan seas.
Mercado, who traces his roots in Banawa in Cebu City, said his assignment here is, in a way, a homecoming for him.
Mercado is the outgoing commander of the Offshore Combat Force. He is set to turnover his duties and responsibilities to incoming commander Capt. Ingemar Pernes on Friday. ### (By Public Information Office, Central Command, AFP)
Phil. Army’s 8th Infantry Division kicks-off anniversary celebration with a mountain trail run competition
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division conducted the “Stormtroopers Trail Run” on July 12, 2014 as a prelude to a series of activities in celebration of its 26th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2014.
The 9.1 kms trail run circuit was designed along the trails and ridges passing along the hills adjacent to Headquarters 8ID and Catbalogan City.
A total of 163 runners participated in the challenging running event composed of running enthusiasts from Catbalogan City and personnel of 8ID. Gun start was at exactly 5:30 a.m. The first finisher clocked-in at 48 minutes.
The following were the top 5 male and female participants.
For the male category:
Mc Allan Latoja – 1st
Captain Albert P Guloy – 2nd
Richard O. Oblino – 3rd
Corporal Rolando Villa – 4th
Private First Class Ranny Rodrigito – 5th
For the female category:
Leonila Tan – 1st
Mary Grace Solarte – 2nd
Marilyn Solobayba – 3rd
Ethyl Marie Cailo – 4th
Corporal Dally Lagawad – 5th
The top 5 male and female participants were given trophies as top finishers of the competition by no less than the commander of the 8ID, Major General Jet B Velarmino AFP in a simple awarding ceremony at the finish line.
For most of the participants who experienced the trail run for the first time, the excitement was the challenge of the terrain, and the experience of enjoying the joy of running with mother nature.
Meanwhile, a 12.1-kilometer Mountain Bike Challenge gathered 58 bikers both from the 8ID led by Maj. Gen. Velarmino and the civilian bike enthusiasts.
The following were the top ten participants:
Mark Johncine Abay – 1st
Benjamin D. Solarte – 2nd
Henry T. Castillo – 3rd
Raymar M. Cruz – 4th
Major Angelo D. Malaran – 5th
Pfc Ardel P. Calvintos – 6th
Sergeant Aris M. Gacula – 7th
Corporal Reyno B. Marines – 8th
Private First Class Gerome D. Lebiste – 9th
Pernito A. Zeta Jr. – 10th
Other sporting challenge slated to be conducted at Headquarters 8ID are: Badminton Competition – July 20, 2014; Shooting competition dubbed as “Band of Brothers Shooting Events” – July 26, 2014 and Lawn Tennis Fellowship – July 27, 2014.### (By DPAO, 8ID, PA)
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar – In a ceremony conducted on July 9, 2014 at Calbayog City Convention Center, the Peace and Order Council (POC) of Calbayog City declared the city as Manageable Conflict-affected and Development-ready (MCADR).
The ceremony was attended by Hon. Ronaldo P. Aquino, Mayor of Calbayog City; Rev. Niceas Abenoja of Calbayog City Diocese; Ms. Imelda C. Bonifacio, PAMANA Regional Manager of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process; BGen. Wilson M. Leyva AFP, Commander 801st Infantry Brigade, other local officials of Calbayog City and military and police officers. The declaration of the City as MCADR was a symbol of desire of the Calbayognon’s for peace and progress.
The declaration means that the basic issues that beset the people were already addressed by the City and concerned government agencies. It also means that the NPA rebel’s interference to the economic activity in the City is already negligible and can be easily address by the PNP.
Commenting on the declaration of Calbayog City as MCADR, Brig. Gen. Leyva said, “We should recognize the effort of all the barangay chairmen of Calbayog City, the POC, the PNP, our soldiers and the people in the barangays for without them and their contribution, the much awaited declaration of Calbayog city as MCADR could not have been possible.”
“The joint effort of the stakeholders depicted the treasured tradition of the Filipino people which is the true spirit of working together or “Bayanihan”. Let us not rest in our laurels, let us sustain the momentum, let us continue what we started and do not let the peace that we worked for be taken from our grasp again,” Leyva added. ### (By 8th Infantry Division Public Affairs, Phil. Army)
CAMP LAPULAPU, CEBU CITY—Two soldiers were killed while another one was wounded in an encounter with communist rebels at 2:15pm on Thursday in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
The two slain soldiers- Corporal Napoleon Supresencia and Private First Class Henry Lumio Jr.- were said to be conducting peace and development activities in Sitio Madaha, barangay (village) Buenavista in the said city when about 30 armed men believed to be members of the Central Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (CNF, KR-N) shot them.
A firefight ensued between the rebels and the other soldiers belonging to the 47th Infantry Battalion (47IB).
One wounded soldier- Private First Class Leland Sucatre- suffered minor gunshot wound on his back.
Major Ray Tiongson, Phil. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) spokesman, said in a press statement that prior to the encounter, residents have reported of the presence of armed men there.
Major Tiongson added that two M16 rifles were taken from the slain soldiers.
Lt. Col. Ariel Reyes, commanding officer of the 47IB, said this recent incident will not impede their continuous efforts in bringing government services and assistance to the people in the hinterlands.
“We will work even more in Bayanihan spirit together with the local government units, other stakeholders and the people for peace and development to thrive in their communities,” Lt. Col. Reyes added.
Meanwhile, 3ID chief Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad sent his deepest sympathies to the family of the two slain soldiers.
“They offered their lives for the sake of the people. They will always be remembered as true heroes and advocates of peace,” Maj. Gen. Baladad said in a press statement.
Central Command (Centcom) chief Lt. Gen. John Bonafos denounce this as a desperate attempt by the communist rebels to hamper the province’s pursuit for long-lasting peace.
“This is a desperate act that we strongly condemn. But we will not take rest in doing what we came to do in these villages- to bring government services to those who need them in remote areas,” Lt. Gen. Bonafos said. ### (By Public Information office, Central Command, AFP)
CEBU CITY— The Office of the Civil Defense in Central Visayas (OCD-7) turned over brand new disaster equipments to Central Command (Centcom) on Wednesday morning.
The equipment that were turned over to the Command aims to enhance Centcom’s capability on disaster response.
Among the equipments donated include divers tank, life locator, mobile command, thermal imager, snake camera, wey suits, buoyancy compensator, and regulator, ‘jaws of life’ cutter and spreader.
According to Engineer Verneil Balaba, operations officer of the OCD-7, the equipments are brand new and is worth P5 million.
Balaba added that these equipments are used for urban search and rescue as well as water search and rescue.
Centcom chief Lt. Gen. John Bonafos received the equipments from OCD-7 head Olivia Luces.
Lt. Gen. Bonafos said these equipments will be useful in responding to disasters whether manmade or natural.
Bonafos said that the AFP has intensified training of its personnel by equipping them also with trainings on disaster response. (BY: Public Information Office, Central Command, AFP)
Camp Lapulapu, Cebu City – A communist rebel was killed in an encounter with Army troops on Monday morning in Binalbagan town, Negros Occidental.
Members of the 11th Infantry Battalion (11IB) figured in an encounter with at least 20 armed rebels believed to be members of the Central Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (CNF, KR-N) of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
The encounter occurred in Sitio Mainit, barangay (village) Santol in the said town at 6:15a.m. on Monday.
The encounter that lasted for three hours resulted to the killing of a certain Jerry Dorillo.
Dorillo was identified to be a member of the Sandatahang Platoon Pampropaganda 1 (SPP1) of CNF, KR-N.
Also recovered in the encounter area were eight (8) firearms- one (1) improvised M14 single shot, four (4) shotguns, two (2) Cal .357 and one (1) Cal. 45 with several assorted live ammunition.
Lt. Col. Paulito Idul, commanding officer of 11IB, said that nine suspected NPA rebels were also caught during the encounter.
However, two of them were released and turned over to the local officials of barangay (village) Santol while the seven others were turned over to Binalbagan Police Station for medical check-up and investigation.
The assorted firearms and ammunition recovered were also turned over to the police.
“In observance to human rights and the rule of law, the suspected rebels were treated humanely and apprised of their constitutional rights. They were released by Binalbagan PNP to barangay chairman of Santol after the investigation and custodial debriefing,” Lt. Col. Idul added.
LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU— The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista made his exit visit today at the Brig. Gen. Benito Ebuen Air Base, nine days prior to his scheduled retirement from military service.
Gen. Bautista, in his message to the AFP troops, announced that the modernization in the Visayas is underway.
The general also reminded his troops to aim and reach the goals set by the AFP Transformation Road Map.
“Dapat natin maisagawa ang mga reporma tungo sa propesiyonalisasyon natin at sa pag-angat ng antas ng ating kapabilidad. Na tayo ay maging world-class. Na tayo ay ipinagmamalaki ng ating sambayanan (We should ensure that reforms will be implemented towards our professionalization and to raise the bar of our capability. We should be world-class. We should be the source of pride of our nation),” he said in his talk to men today at 11a.m.
Gen. Bautista was welcomed by the AFP’s top commanders led by Central Command chief Lt. Gen. John Bonafos, 2nd Air Division chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Poquiz and Naval Forces Central acting chief Capt. Ingemar Pernes. Also present were Phil. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad and 8th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Jet Velarmino.
Other Centcom officials and staff were also present during his visit.
The different unit commanders presented their tokens to Gen. Bautista.
A boodle fight with the retiring general capped his exit visit here.
Gen. Bautista, a member of the Phil. Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1981, assumed his post as AFP’s chief of staff on January 17, 2013.
He is the 44th AFP Chief of staff after replacing retired Gen. Jessie Dellosa.
It was Bautista himself who crafted IPSP Bayanihan, the current anti-insurgency campaign of the government anchored on a multi-sectoral effort of “winning the peace” instead of carrying out a bloody campaign to end the decades-long insurgency problem of the country.
Bautista’s focus on “winning the peace” takes root in the violent death of his father.
He is the son of the late Brig. Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, who was killed along with 33 other military officers and men, by rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), on Oct. 10, 1977 in Patikul, Sulu province.
During his stint, Bautista also focused on reforming the image of the entire Armed Forces.
He was very supportive of the Army Transformation Road Map, which he said aims to change the “tarnished” image of the Army because of allegations of human rights violations, among others.### (By Public Information Office, Central Command, AFP)
TACLOBAN CITY – An eight-team basketball tournament at the San Jose Regional Center basketball court in Tacloban city kicked off the Pacific Partnership 2014 mission on July 5.
Teams from the United States, Australia, Japan, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined a group of local teams here in the daylong competition.
Along with catching all the basketball actions, patrons who attended the free tournament enjoyed the musical styling of the Pacific Fleet Band, which rock group played a wide variety of pop contemporary and classic hits.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band is scheduled to have its rock band ensemble play a series of three free concerts in July for the citizens here as part of this mission.
The 12-member rock band, which always plays a wide variety of contemporary pop and classic hits, it scheduled to play on the first floor of Robinsons Place Tacloban (Robinsons Mall) on July 7 to 9 from 4pm to 7pm.
Taclobanons are encouraged to come and enjoy the performance.
BAIS CITY, Negros Oriental – One NPA and one soldier were killed following an encounter here with communist rebels at 10:15a.m. on Friday.
Lt. Col. Harold Anthony Pascua, the Commanding Officer of 79th Infantry Battalion said that his troops were conducting security operations in Sitio Sandana, Brgy Mansangahan when they were shot by an estimate of about 15 armed rebels believed to be members of the Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (SEF, KR-N) of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Our troops engaged the remnant forces of the NPA bandits which resulted to the death of one of our troops. The NPA rebels withdraw in disarray leaving behind one of their dead comrades,” said Pascua.
Identification of slain soldier and NPA are still being withheld until his kin are notified of his death.
The troops scoured the scene of encounter and recovered fifteen (15) ‘ponchos’ (rain coats), kitchen utensils and some personal belonging.
Residents of the said barangay reported the presence of armed men that are trying to recruit the youngsters to join their movement. They are also said to be extorting from the residents there.
Major General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division said that the Army will continue with its persistent call for peace with the people despite this response from the NPA.
“We are likewise sending upon them (NPA) to listen to this call of the people. This ‘armed struggle’ has only brought death and suffering and continue to deny our people’s desire to have a peaceful life and developed communities,” added Baladad.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of our slain soldier. His heroism and sacrifices will not go in vain.”
However, he also expressed his sympathy to the family and relatives of the NPA rebel who was killed.
“It is very tragic that he has taken arms against the people of Negros when only through peace can development and social justice be achieved.”
Additional troops are now in the area conducting pursuit operations to run after the fleeing rebels while members of the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) conducted investigation in the encounter site.
Troops of 79IB are also in close communication with the barangay officials to ensure the safety and security of the residents in the area. (By MAJOR RAY TIONGSON, CHIEF, DIVISION PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION)