Monday, February 11, 2019

Army chief calls for community participation vs insurgency

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 11, 2019): Army chief calls for community participation vs insurgency

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City -- "Plan well, think forward and use all available resources, maximize the participation of community and all stakeholders. Let us leave no breathing room for the enemy to regroup or regain foothold. Let us fight to win."

These were the words of army commanding general LtGen Macairog S Alberto, in his message, as the guest of honor and speaker during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro.

Lt Gen Alberto encouraged all the diamond troopers to accord to the newly installed 4th Infantry Division (4ID) commander, Brig Gen Franco Nemecia M Gacal, who succeeded Maj Gen Ronald C Villanueva, same support as the previous commander in order to sustain the momentum in fighting insurgency to its final push with solid result.

Since its activation, 4ID has been at the forefront of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) internal security operation in addressing security threats in Eastern Mindanao, Caraga and portion of Region 10 which aims to attain a physically and psychologically secured environment conducive to socio-economic development.

For the past three years, the division has neutralized 1,101 communist NPA terrorist (CNTs), seized or captured 966 firearms, cleared 264 barangays from CNT’s affectation and significantly, it has facilitated the declaration of province of Bukidnon as conflict manageable and ready for further development.
Philippine Army commanding general LtGen Macairog S Alberto presided over the Change of Command ceremony at 4th Infantry Division (4ID). He stressed on the need to plan well, think forward and use all available resources, maximize the participation of community and all stakeholders in addressing insurgency. (PIA10)

The ceremony was highlighted by the traditional turnover of command and symbol from the commander, MGen Villanueva who is set to bow-out from the military service to the incoming BGen Gacal.

Gacal is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988. He is a special forces and well-rounded military officer with expertise in resource management and managerial acumen; and a graduate of Master in Strategic Studies, Peace and Security Stabilization Course, International Fellows Academic Preparatory Course and Senior Service College and Joint Professional Military Education all from United States Army War College in Pennsylvania, USA.

Prior to his new post, he served as the commander of 402nd Infantry “Stinger” Brigade since 2016 which makes him best-fitted to stir the helms of the Division for being accustomed to the sociological and security situation in the area and had already established “teamwork” for peace and development with local governments units in the region.

In his remarks, BGen Gacal expressed his gratitude to the AFP chief of staff and commanding general of PA, General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., LtGen Alberto, for bestowing him the trust and confidence to lead the noble warriors of 4ID.

He also pledged to continue building the 4ID into a formidable, deterrent and fighting force in order to contribute for national development with culture of peace and unity.

Gacal emphasized to give importance to collaboration and stakeholders engagement in addressing variuos security concerns.

“After all security is and shall always be a shared responsibility,” Gacal said.

On operationalization of Executive Order 70 which calls for ‘whole of nation’ approach in combatting insurgency, Gacal said they will embark on a peaceful war which intends to build partnerships, reconnecting our government and private entities with geographically distant communities to bring back to the functions of society to be no longer isolated and disadvantaged.

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