“PLAN well, think forward and use all available resources, maximize the participation of the community and all stakeholders. Let us leave no breathing room for the enemy to regroup or regain a foothold. Let us fight to win.”
These were the words of Army commander Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto, in his message, as the guest of honor and speaker during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Evangelista here earlier this week.
Alberto encouraged soldiers to accord to the newly installed 4th Infantry Division commander, Brig. Gen. Franco Nemecia Gacal, who succeeded Maj Gen Ronald C Villanueva, same support as the previous commander in order to sustain the momentum in fighting insurgency to its final push with a solid result.
Since its activation, 4ID has been at the forefront of the Armed Forces internal security operation in addressing security threats in Eastern Mindanao, Caraga and portion of Region 10 which aims to attain a physically and psychologically secured environment conducive to socio-economic development.
In the past three years, the division has “neutralized” 1,101 communist rebels, seized or captured 966 firearms, cleared 264 barangays from affectation and significantly, it has facilitated the declaration of the province of Bukidnon as conflict manageable and ready for further development.
The ceremony was highlighted by the traditional turnover of command and symbol from the retiring commander Villanueva to Gacal.
Gacal is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988. He is a special forces and wellounded military officer with expertise in resource management and managerial acumen; and a graduate of Master in Strategic Studies, Peace and Security Stabilization Course, International Fellows Academic Preparatory Course and Senior Service College and Joint Professional Military Education all from United States Army War College in Pennsylvania, USA.
Prior to his new post, he served as the commander of 402nd Infantry “Stinger” Brigade since 2016 which makes him best-fitted to stir the helms of the Division for being accustomed to the sociological and security situation in the area and had already established “teamwork” for peace and development with local governments units in the region.
Gacal pledged to continue building the 4ID into a formidable, deterrent and fighting force in order to contribute for national development with culture of peace and unity.
Gacal emphasized to give importance to collaboration and stakeholders engagement in addressing various security concerns.
“After all security is and shall always be a shared responsibility,” Gacal said.
On operationalization of Executive Order 70 which calls for “whole of nation” approach in combatting insurgency, Gacal said they will embark on a peaceful war which intends to build partnerships, reconnecting our government and private entities with geographically distant communities to bring back to the functions of society to be no longer isolated and disadvantaged. (PIA)