Soldiers of 89th IB now ready vs NPA

LT. GEN. Rolando Joselito Bautista, the commading general of the Philippine Army (PA), led yesterday the sent off ceremony of the 89th Infantry Battalion into the operational area of 10th Infantry Division in its headquarters in Barangay Tuboran, Mawab, Compostela Valley.

 The 89th IB, the newly activated battalion of the division, is an additional force to help in crushing down the strong presence of communist group in the region.

 The battalion has strength of at least 500 members and officers to be led by Lt. Col. Luciano Caiman. It will be deployed to the 1003rd Infantry Brigade.

 The 89th IB is now occupying the brigade’s headquarters in Barangay New Visayas in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte as the 1003rd has been transferred to Barangay Mahayag in Bunawan District here.

 In his speech during the ceremony, Bautista told the soldiers that the region is the most challenging area in terms of the insurgency operation.

 “The Davao region is a place of seasoned and veteran fighters of CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army), many soldiers were killed including scout rangers in early 1980′s,” Bautista said.

“So the soldiers must be psychologically, physically and at the same time they are prepared in their skills in combating the NPAs,” he added.

 The Army chief also wants to ensure that the 89th IB will be on their right path as half of the battalion is newbie soldiers.

 Bautista also urged the soldiers to focus on their responsibility.

 “You should not be destructed by political acts and conflicts on the local government unit (LGU) in a particular area,” he said.

He also wants the soldiers to maintain the trust and respect toward each soldier and to the civilian.

 “The Marawi crisis is starting to end,” Bautista said. “We must preempt the same incident that might happen.”