Bancasi, Butuan City – The newly designated Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom/EMC), AFP visited the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade at Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City yesterday, February 8, 2020.

Major General Jose Calingasan Faustino Jr’s visit to the Stingers Brigade was his first field visit to a Brigade in the EMC AOR since his assumption as the 12th Commander of the EastMinCom last January 25, 2020.

Prior to his designation as the new EastMinCom Chief, MGen Faustino was the Commander of the 10th Infantry (Agila) Division where he led various operations which resulted in the dismantling of different New People’s Army (NPA) units in Regions 11 and 12. He also served as the former head of the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City as well as led the 35th Infantry Battalion and 501st Infantry Brigade.

During his field visit yesterday, he was welcomed by the Officers, Men and Women of the 402nd Brigade with a Military Arrival Honors led by 402nd Brigade Commander, Brigadier General L Licudine together with Police Brigadier General Joselito S Esquivel Jr, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 13 and the Commanding Officers of the OPCON Battalions and Commander’s from Tenant and Attached units.

MGen Faustino lauded the commendable accomplishments of the 402nd Brigade during the Campaign Updates provided by the unit from January – December 2019 where, a total of ninety – eight (98) combat operations were conducted resulting to eighty (80) encounters against the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) in Guerilla Bases and Engagement Areas.

Part of the highlight during the visit was the traditional Signing of Guest Book and viewing of some of the Captured, Confiscated, Surrendered and Recovered (CCSR) Firearms of the Brigade during the successful combat operations that neutralized CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in the region.

Likewise, a ceremonial tree planting was also done by MGen Faustino along with PBGen Esquivel Jr with their names imprinted on the tree guard, followed by a Talk to Troops.

In his message during the Talk, MGen Faustino stressed the importance of properly performing every task and emphasized the participation of the AFP units in the TF-ELCAC under the EO70 as the solution to end the more than five (5) decades of the insurgency problem. “We have a positive outlook of the security situation. We have gained significant headways but the challenge is how we can sustain our efforts. Hence, we need to perform our tasks 100 percent and contribute to our campaign in our own little ways. Our job is to protect the people, secure the land”.

Meanwhile, in his statement, BGen Licudine said that the visit of the top commander of the whole Eastern Mindanao Command is a big boost to the morale of the troops particularly in relentlessly combating the insurgency problem in Caraga, “We will perform in accordance with the guidance of the Commander of the EMC particularly in our participation to the Task Force ELCAC in sustaining the peace and security in Caraga region.”