Bangit deploys former UN peacekeeping troops to Masbate

April 16, 2010 10:00 pm 

MANILA, April 16 – Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin N. Bangit welcomed the newly activated 85th Infantry Battalion in Masbate Friday.

The battalion, led by Col. Lope C. Dagoy, is composed of 250 soldiers, with 190 coming from the personnel previously deployed for United Nations peacekeeping operations in Haiti and Liberia.

“Your mission here is not to wage war but to bring peace. You have successfully achieved your mission abroad so there is no reason for you not to be able to accomplish your mission here,” Bangit said in his dialogue with the troops.

Other speakers at the welcome ceremony were 9th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan and Secretary of National Defense Norberto Gonzales.

“AFP has chosen the best unit for Masbate,” Gonzales said. “You are not only here for battle but to be of service to the community. Do not let our people to be coerced this coming elections.”

The 85th IB was also welcomed by Masbate Governor Elisa Kho and retired Justice Monina Zeñarosa, head of the Zeñarosa Commission.

Bangit also visited Central Command at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Lahug, Cebu City n thursday. This was his seventh visit to an area command as Chief of Staff.

He said that alert levels would be upgraded in the coming days as the polls near. Like in his previous visits, he reiterated to soldiers to remain non-partisan and to be always on the side of the people, on the side of what is good and what is right.

He also said in his dialogue with the troops the role of the Filipino soldiers in protecting the sanctity and integrity of the ballots. “Do everything within our mandate in order to have successful and credible elections this May.” (PNA) RMA/VR

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