CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – The Philippine Army has activated an additional infantry battalion on Wednesday to beef-up its forces in preparation for the final push of military campaign designed to defeat insurgency in Southern Tagalog.
The 59th Infantry Battalion was officially designated as a tactical maneuver unit under the 2nd Infantry Division during a ceremony here presided by Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr who also designated a new battalion commander to be at the helm of the fighting unit.
Addressing the troops, MGen Burgos expressed his confidence that “your transition to a tactical unit is our proactive response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to End Local Communist Armed Conflict before the end of his term.”
He added that the unit “has the potential to be the game-changer in our quest to finally eradicate the menace of insurgency” in this part of the country so that “peace can be won, development can be achieved and prosperity will become our people’s way of life.”
Prior to its activation as a combat unit, 59IB was 2ID’s administrator of its auxiliary forces for 16 years. Since its organization and activation in 1986, it has etched an indelible mark in combat, international engagements and in defending Malacañang against any form of threat.
Lt Col Edward Canlas, the newly designated battalion commander, said his unit will be combat ready after the organizational training and will be “prepared to locate, engage and deliver the coup de grace against the few remaining NPAs who are now on the verge of irreversibl collapse.”
The 2-week organizational training, a standard Army program for new units, is designed to develop the soldiers’ cohesion with each other, establish the unit’s sense of identity and capacitate it to raise its readiness to accomplish any given mission.
MGen Burgos ended his statement by calling on the enemies-of-the-state to “give up your armed struggle while you still have time because additional forces, with its full military might, will hunt you down until you run out of space to hide.”
In can be recalled that the Philippine Army’s 2 nd Infantry Division has recently dealt decisive blows against the communist terrorists after neutralizing top NPA leaders such as Jaime Padilla who used to be a Central Committee member operating in Mindoro, Armando Lazarte who was the erstwhile leader of NPA in Rizal as well as in Quezon prior to his death and numerous platoon and squad-level leaders of the movement.
Per the military’s assessment, those accomplishments led to massive demoralization among the terrorists’ ranks which led to mass surrenders that drastically depleted the NPA’s manpower.
As of the moment, 466 former rebels have already surrendered in Southern Tagalog and are now either enrolled or undergoing enrollment process to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP which provide grants to those will turn their backs from the terrorist movement.