Monday, November 25, 2013

Army general who survived ‘Yolanda’ promoted

From the Visayan Daily Star (Nov 25): Army general who survived ‘Yolanda’ promoted

One of the 12 newly-promoted Army generals was a survivor of super typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban, Leyte.

Maj. Gen. Jet Joel Belarmino floated at sea for several hours when their satellite office near the Tacloban airport was hit by the storm surge and flashflood, military records show.

Belarmino, commanding general of the Army’ 8th Infantry Division in Eastern Samar, used to be assigned as commander of the 6th Special Forces Battalion in Brgy. La Granja, La Carlota City in Negros Occidental.

Before his appointment as 8ID commander, Belarmino was Army chief of staff and deputy commander of the Special Operations Command.

Army chief, Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes, said the promotion of Maj. Gen. Belarmino is fitting as he handled very well the situation in converging efforts to help the victims of typhoon “Yolanda”.

He himself was a survivor of Yolanda’s onslaught, Coballes said.

Coballes recently led the donning of ranks by the 12 newly-promoted generals, including Belarmino, Major Gen. Aurelio Baladad, 3rd Infantry Division commander, and Brig. Gen. Ivan Samarita, who also served as 11th Infantry Battalion commander in central Negros.

As 3ID commander in the Western Visayas region, Baladad had personally seen the havoc brought about by the super typhoon. The Army units under him are among those responsible for the massive relief and rehabilitation efforts of the government.

Baladad said what happened in Tacloban City and its neighboring provinces is truly a test of leadership and management; but added that with the enormity of challenges that the country is facing today, only the best could be expected from the Army.

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