CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, ZDS – The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division installed two commanders, one an Army Ranger and the other a former training school commandant, in the Province of Basilan Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

Brig. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander of 1ID, presided the two change of command ceremonies in the headquarters of 18th Infantry “Deo Et Patria” Battalion and 64 Infantry “Knights” Battalion.

In 18th IB, Lt. Col. Egverr Jonathan Abutin succeeded Lt. Col. Ivan San Jose, while in 64th IB, Lt. Col. Renante Besa assumed command of the unit replacing Lt. Col. Philip Fagel.

Both out-going battalion commanders have already served two years and will be reassigned to higher positions.

During their assumption speeches, Abutin vowed to continue the hallmark of a Patriot “to fulfil the duties and responsibilities anytime, anywhere for God and country”.

He also thanked the Division Commander for believing in his capabilities and entrusting the very sensitive position as battalion commander.

While Besa also thanked Brig. Gen. Ponio for the trust and confidence he bestowed and for the opportunity to serve as a battalion commander of 1ID.

Besa also ensure transparency and fairness, continue and sustain the gains of the out-going commander have achieved in preserving the peace and development in its area of responsibility.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Ponio congratulated and thanked the out-going commanders for their accomplishments and service in 1ID, particularly in the province of Basilan.

He also thanked the stakeholders, local chief executives and even the locals for their trust and support to the out-going commanders.
“Peace is a shared responsibility. We cannot attain or sustain peace and security in Basilan without your cooperation and support”, said Ponio.

“Let us work together so that the government’s initiatives and advocacies will be implemented and will be benefited by the constituents in the province”, added Ponio.


Lt. Col. Renante Besa is a proud member of Officer Candidate School Class 17-1997.

Prior to this post, he was the former Commandant of the 1st Division Training School of the 1st ID, based in Pulacan, Zamboanga del Sur.

He is a graduate of Masters in Public Management Major in Development Security in Development Academy of the Philippines; Executive Course on National Security in National Defense College of the Philippines and Command and General Staff Course in AFP Education Training and Doctrine Command.

While Lt. Col. Egverr Jonathan Abutin is a proud member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1999.

Prior to his post, he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3 of the First Scout Ranger Regiment based in San Miguel, Bulacan.

He is an Airborne-Ranger and a graduate of Master in Management in Asia Institute of Management.

He is also a graduate of Command and General Staff Course in AFP Education Training and Doctrine Command, a requirement for the battalion commander position.