47th Infantry Battalion prepares for redeployment to Southern Negros

November 8, 2010 11:27 am 

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 7 – The 47th Infantry (Katapatan) Battalion is ready for redeployment to southern Negros, leaving Panay Island in the capable hands of the newly retrained and refurbished 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion.

The swapping of two of its battalions in Negros and Panay islands was made known by Major General Vicente M. Porto, commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) in Western Visayas, during the turnover ceremony held at the headquarters of the 47th Infantry (Katapatan) Battalion at Camp General Ceferino S. Carreon in Calinog, Iloilo last Nov. 5.

The 47th Infantry Battalion is intended to fill the place of the 61st Infantry Battalion in Southern Negros.

Porto said the 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion based in Southern Negros Occidental had just completed its unit retraining at the 3ID headquarters in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz.

They are freshly trained, fully-manned, fully-equipped and refurbished with new equipment. The unit is led by Lt Colonel Ricardo Bayhon. During their absence from their area, the Task Group Southwest Negros was organized under the operational supervision of the 303rd Infantry Brigade.

On the other hand, the 47IB under the command of newly-installed battalion commander Lt. Col. Rodrigo Sosmena, has made a very significant impact in addressing the Internal Security situation here in Panay for the past several years.

The battalion was instrumental in downgrading two communist guerilla fronts in Panay and for several other operational accomplishments that included the capture of several armed dissidents and the arrest of high-ranking underground personalities of the CPP-NPA’s underground movement in Panay.

Porto said: “This move is being undertaken by the 3ID so that these units would have new operational environments in which they can thrive further.

Both units have so much to offer, one distinct from the other; and we are confident that given this challenge they can affect the situation in their new respective areas greatly.”

The 47IB is slated to move to Negros very soon while the 61IB occupies their camps in Panay Island.

While in Negros, 47IB will be placed under the operational control of the 303rd Infantry (Brown Eagle) Brigade based in Camp Gerona, Murcia, Negros Occidental. Likewise, the 61IB will be reporting to the 301st Infantry Brigade based in Camp General Adriano Hernandez, Dingle, Iloilo.

“We believe that the swap is a welcome change for everyone involved. Every change for the better is always much-anticipated – thus, we should be ready to embrace change – especially if it calls for a bigger and greater challenge,” Porto quipped in response to criticisms about the swapping of the two units.

Porto said the 3ID was committed to ending the insurgency in Western Visayas and achieving lasting peace. "Guided by this, we are confident that the redeployment of our troops between Panay and Negros will yield significant gains to get us one step closer to attaining our mission," (PNA) RMA/ajp/VLO/vlo

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