CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – The Philippine Army has deployed an additional infantry battalion during a ceremony here after the reactivated unit completed the mandatory organizational training on Friday.
The 59th Infantry (Protector) Battalion “will augment military forces in 2nd Infantry Division’s priority area to decimate the few remaining NPAs and deliver the finishing blows against insurgency in that part of Southern Tagalog”, said Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr who formally activated the unit two weeks ago.
During his speech the military commander reiterated that “the deployment of hundreds of additional soldiers in the frontlines is our proactive response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to end local communist armed conflict before the end of his term.”
In a statement, he called on the NPA terrorists to “give up your armed struggle while you still have time because these additional forces, with its full military might, will hunt you down until you run out of space to hide.”
The time-honored military ceremony was graced by the presence of Congressman Benjamin Agarao Jr of Laguna’s 4th Congressional District as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
The lawmaker expressed his confidence to the military’s ability to eradicate the menace of insurgency in the soonest possible time so that peace, prosperity and development may finally reign over the region whose economic potentials have been hampered by the scorn of NPA terrorism.
He ended his statement by expressing his gratitude to the soldiers “whose sacrifices are the reason why I, together with my family and millions of other Filipinos, will be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that you are standing guard to ensure our safety and freedom.”
Lt Col Edward Canlas, Commanding Officer of 59IB, said that his unit is now combat ready and that his soldiers are focused to locate, engage and deliver the coup de grace against the NPA remnants who are now on the verge of irreversible collapse.
“We are committed to live by our unit’s monicker – Protector – as we go out to the field and fulfill our most solemn oath of service to our God, flag, country and the Filipino people”, ended Lt Col Canlas.
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.
It can be recalled that the Philippine Army’s 2nd 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.
New Soldiers’ Training Begins
Relatedly, 190 young men took their oath as members of the Philippine Army during a ceremony last Feb 25 prior to the start of their military training.
With former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada as the guest of honor and speaker, 2ID welcomed the recruits through the traditional Reception Rites.
In his speech, former President Estrada highlighted the importance of every Filipino citizen’s sense of volunteerism to serve the country and people through the profession of arms, saying that “once upon a time, I wanted to be an Army soldier.”
The former Commander in Chief expressed his gratitude and congratulated the members of 2ID, collectively known as the Jungle Fighters, “for being steadfast in accomplishing your mission in ensuring peace and prosperity in the immediate south of our country’s seat of power.”
According to the military, the candidate soldiers will undergo six months of rigid military training prior to their deployment to the frontline units as soldiers with the rank of Private.