Communities of Misamis Oriental through the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial legislative board) entrusted the service firearms that were issued to newly-enlisted army soldiers assigned to the 58th Infantry Battalion for duty in the province.
A ceremony was held after the regular flag raising ceremony at the Provincial Capitol grounds here on Monday, June 24. As Witnessed by employees of the provincial government, the 16 newly enlisted soldiers with the rank of private received their service M-16 rifles, personally handed over by Board member Virgilia Dumadag, representing Misamis Oriental Governor Vincente “Bambi” Emano. She was accompanied by fellow SP members Win Militante, Gerardo Sabal III, Frederick Khu and Kerwin Jess Soldevilla.
Most of the newly enlisted soldiers are former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and members of the Indigenous People (IP) from different municipalities of Misamis Oriental.
It highlights the Army’s adherence to the Philippine Constitutional provision of “civilian supremacy over the military” and a renewal of their commitment to protect the people and the state.
The Army personnel were accompanied by Brig. Gen. Edgardo De Leon, commander of the Philippine Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade and Lt. Col. Roy Anthony Derilo, commanding officer of 58th Infantry Battalion. De Leon led the new soldiers in reciting the “Panuntunan ng Kawal Pilipino.”
After the ceremony, de Leon paid a courtesy call to Emano to express his personal gratitude for the governor’s efforts in boosting the morale of army soldiers assigned in Misamis Oriental.
With the existence of the National Task to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Emano expressed his full support to the upcoming activation of the Regional Task Force-ELCAC.
“We will activate our own Provincial Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, and we will make it as our main agenda in our next Peace and Order Council Meeting,” he said.
Khu also lauded the program, saying they “will support the convergence of efforts by all stakeholders in the province for us to attain a peaceful and developed community in Misamis Oriental”.
De Leon sought for the people’s trust on the army soldiers as they perform their constitutional mandate.
“We are mandated to give our best to ensure the protection of the Filipino people, to the extent of offering our lives so others would live in peace,” he stated.
He furthered that holding such ceremony is important in order “to let our new soldiers feel the trust given them and realize the responsibility that was put upon their soldiers by the people they have sworn to protect.”
“The salute they rendered as they received the service rifles symbolizes a commitment to respect the provisions of international humanitarian law otherwise known as the laws on armed conflict,” de Leon concluded.