The 79 th Infantry “Masaligan” Battalion, based in Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, received the Battalion of Excellence Award as well as newly procured carbine 5.56 mm R4 A3 rifles.
The ceremonial handover of the guns Sunday was led by Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commanding officer of the 3 rd Infantry Division, in the presence of 303 rd Brigade commander, Col. Francisco Delfin, 79 th IB commanding officer, Lt Col Harold Anthony Pascua, and Gov. Roel Degamo.
Guerrero said the activity marked the fulfilment of one of the major thrusts of the Philippine Army to professionalize the organization, in terms of the competence of their men and upgrade their capability.
He said the new equipment will boost the firepower capability of the battalion in security-challenged areas of southern Negros.
During the program, 169 enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers also received their readiness badge and promotions, that Guerrero said were long overdue.
He said the mark of distinction given to the soldiers is a symbol of their professional competence in marksmanship, physical fitness, performance, financial standing, and overall accomplishment of their mission.
Guerrero explained the division was recently given a big quota for promotion so more than 1,000 of its personnel had their pinning of ranks.
“Let us not fail our leaders, let us not fail our countrymen and most especially, do not fail yourselves,” he told the newly-promoted Army troopers.
He said the bearer of the readiness badge symbolizes a transformed Army truly qualified and imbued with the values of honor, discipline, and service to God, country and people.
He said he is truly proud of the Masaligan battalion for being one of the very few Army units that is 100 percent compliant.
Guerrero also said the 79 th IB is one of only two battalions in his division that is equipped with the new rifles, the other one is the 15 th IB.
Degamo said he is happy with the promotion of the personnel and, as governor, he is all-out in supporting the mission of the Army in Negros. He thanked the Army for the declaration of Negros Oriental as conflict manageable and development ready province early last year, and is optimistic that the dream of having a zero insurgency will be achieved this year, with everybody's cooperation.
He reiterated that insurgency has no place in Negros Oriental.*JG
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