9ID commander lauds Lt. Col Fortez for “job well done”
posted 27-Feb-2015  ·  
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Major General Yerson Depayso, commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division, commended former 83rd Infantry Batallion commander Lt. Col. Bernardo Fortez Jr. for “a job well done” in the past two years, highlighted by the declaration of Catanduanes as a “Conflict Manageable and Ready for Further Development” province in 2014.

In a brief address during the Change of Command Ceremony at the Lictin headquarters of the battalion the other Monday (Feb. 16), he said the unit’s efforts degraded the activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front (CNN) and its politico-military organizations, drastically reducing the actual and potential of CNN support systems. Present during the activity were Gov. Araceli Wong, Mayor Peter Cua of San Andres, Mayor Joseph Wong of Pandan, Mayor Flerida Alberto of Virac and other national agency officials.

The awards given to Lt. Col. Fortez is a manifestation of his sterling leadership and significant accomplishment made through the support of local government units, the general stated, noting that solving the insurgency problem requires not only military action.

He assured local chief executives that the Philippine Army will continue to conduct its Bayanihan program alongside LGUs and assured it is ready to provide whatever assistance.

Gen. Depayso likewise reminded soldiers of the 83rd IB to value work and family and to work alongside the Philippine National Police and the citizenry.

“Walang hidwaan between the PNP and the AFP”, the general told the audience, adding that so-called analysts are fomenting division between the two organizations that he says continues to work together.

On the other hand, new battalion commander Lt. Col. Zacarias Batalla Jr. assured that he would continue the good working relationship forged with LGUs as well as the plans of his predecessor.

Lt. Col. Fortez leaves Catanduanes after the required two years of duty with the following accomplishments: 5,957 combat patrols and strike operations resulting in three engagements; 61 community-based development activities, 47 medical and dental missions, 45 blood-letting activities, 32 humanitarian and disaster responses, and three municipal youth leadership summits; participation in various LGU activities, community dialogues and barangay visitations;

Bayanihan Team Activities in seven towns that resulted in the surrender of four communist terrorists’ supporters and clearing of 11 less-influenced barangays in San Miguel and Caramoran; establishment of Barangay Defense Systems; partnership with TESDA and Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in providing technical education to out-of-school youth in Bato and Baras;

Provision of security assistance in vital installations and infrastructure projects; confiscation of 7,000 board feet of illegally-cut lumber; construction of various facilities at the battalion headquarters; facilitation of the timely implementation of the Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (CLIP) for revel returnees in partnership with the provincial government; and, engagement of various stakeholders in a harmonious relationship.

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