Wednesday, February 4, 2015

801st Infantry Brigade gets new commanding officer

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 4): 801st Infantry Brigade gets new commanding officer

The 801st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army got a new commanding officer early this week in the person of Col. Leoncio A. Cirunay.

He replaced Brig. Gen. Wilson M. Leyva who retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

The change-of-command ceremonies took place at the 8th Infantry Division headquarters at Catbalogan City, Samar.

The 801st Infantry Brigade is tasked to secure from external and internal threats the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar.

Prior to taking the helm of the 801st Infantry Brigade, Cirunay was the deputy brigade commander of the Lumban, Laguna-based 202nd Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Relatedly, Leyva was given a traditional testimonial parade and review in honor of his 31 years of the honorable service to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

8th Infantry Division commander Major Jet Velarmino, in his message, acknowledged the contribution of Leyva to the relative peace that Samar and Eastern Samar provinces are now experiencing.

At the same time, he urged Cirunay to continue the plans and programs initiated by Leyva that fit the current situation and work hard toward the realization of “Insurgency-Free” Samar and Eastern Samar provinces.

It can be recalled that Samar and Eastern Samar were declared as Peaceful and Ready for Further Development (PRFD) Provinces in March 2013 and December 2014, respectively.

The PRFD status is one step below the insurgency-free category.

“I commend Brig. Gen. Leyva for his immeasurable contributions to the accomplishments of 8th Infantry Division mission. With Col. Cirunay as the new commander of 801st Infantry Brigade, I know it is in good hands as I am aware of his past designations where he performed well. I know he will do the same in the duties and obligations that he is assigned with right now," he said.

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