NoCot, Maguindanao execs vow support for new Westmincom chief

By Edwin Fernandez

May 23, 2018, 4:30 pm

<p><strong>PROMOTED.</strong> New Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega. <em><strong>(Photo by 6ID)</strong></em></p>

PROMOTED. New Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega. (Photo by 6ID)

KIDAPAWAN CITY--Local officials in North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces have vowed continued support to the military’s peace and development initiatives, even as the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) commander was promoted to head the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, 6th Infantry Division commander, has replaced AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. as Westmincom chief. Both of them belong to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985.

The turnover rites would be held today (Wednesday) at the Westmincom headquarters in Zamboanga City. The 6ID area of responsibility includes the provinces of North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and parts of Lanao del Sur.

In North Cotabato, the provincial council passed a resolution recognizing the contribution of dela Vega in the province’s quest for peace.

The resolution commended dela Vega for his conflict resolution programs with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the surrender of communist rebels in the region.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, for his part, said he was initially sad with the promotion of dela Vega, who left the province as military peace advocate.

The governor, however, has vowed to provide dela Vega his all-out support as far as peace advocacy is concerned. Mangudadatu commended dela Vega for helping the provincial government settle clan wars in areas where the 6th ID operates, and for his relentless campaign against violent extremism.

“It was during his (dela Vega) stint as 6th ID commander when members of the BIFF started coming out to surrender and help the government against extremists,” Mangudadatu said in a statement. (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)