New commanders take charge of Army battalions

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY—Two Infantry Battalions (IBs) of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) in Negros Island installed new commanders last Wednesday.

Brigadier General Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), presided over the separate turnover of command in Ayungon, Negros Oriental, and Cauayan, Negros Occidental.

Lieutenant Colonel Ziegfred Tayaban, who served as deputy of the 3ID, assumed command of the 94th IB, replacing Lieutenant Colonel Van Donald Almonte, who served the battalion for two years and nine months.

In his assumption speech, Tayaban vowed to uphold the high standards that Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, has set for him.

“As I assume command, I am inspired by our division commander’s analogy comparing our campaign to the last two minutes of a basketball game: pressing forward, executing with precision, avoiding errors, cherishing every opportunity, maintaining a strong defense, emphasizing adaptability, and innovating for success,” he said.

Tayaban said their mission extends beyond securing peace in Negros Island, as it is about excelling in their efforts to safeguard and uplift the Negrenses while serving the nation with unwavering integrity and distinction.

Almonte expressed his gratitude to the 94th IB for their unwavering dedication and support during his tenure.

During Almonte’s stint, he led the unit to significant accomplishments, earning it the distinction of being the “fightingest” unit of the 3ID and the entire Philippine Army.

He highlighted the battalion’s achievements in counter-insurgency operations, community development programs, and disaster response efforts.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Cuarteros, outgoing 15th IB commander, relinquished his post to Lieutenant Colonel Brian Bagaipo, who served as brigade executive officer of the 302nd IBde prior to his new designation.

In his message, Bagaipo said his wealth of experience would bring a renewed vision for the battalion. The battalion looks forward to his leadership in continuing its mission of maintaining security and fostering development in Negros Occidental.

For more than two years as the 15th IB commander, Cuarteros noted that he led the battalion with dedication and distinction. His leadership was instrumental in numerous successful operations and community engagements that significantly contributed to peace and order in the region.

In a statement, Sison urged the two new battalion commanders to build on the solid foundation laid by their predecessors.

“Continue to lead with integrity, humility, and a deep sense of duty. The fight against insurgency in Negros Island is not yet over,” Sison said, expressing confidence that under their new leadership, the units will continue to rise to these challenges and achieve greater success.

He also urged them to continue fostering strong community relations and to remain committed to their collective mission to bring forth sustainable peace and development in this region.

“Lead with integrity, inspire your troops, and always ensure that every member performs with utmost discipline. I’m counting on you to steer your unit to protect and sustain the stability of internal peace and security in Negros Island,” he said.

Sison also congratulated and commended the efforts of the outgoing commanders for their exemplary service and remarkable leadership in their units.

“As you conclude your tenure as commanders of the unit, I am grateful for all your outstanding leadership and unwavering dedication to accomplish your given mission,” Sison said, recognizing their significant milestones in maintaining peace and security in their units’ area of operations. “Your strategic vision and commitment to excellence have greatly contributed to the success of our mission,” he said.

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