Army’s infantry battalions in Rizal, Quezon get new commanders

By Saul Pa-a

February 3, 2019, 5:44 pm

CAMP GEN. CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal -- Both the 80th and 85th Infantry Battallions in Rizal and Quezon have new commanders installed in turn-over ceremonies in their respective headquarters on Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Rhoderick M. Parayno, commander of the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) presided over consecutive ceremonies for the 80th Infantry “Steadfast” Battalion (80IB) based in Barangay Pinugay, Baras, Rizal and the 85th Infantry “Sandiwa” Battalion in Barangay Villa Prinsipe, Gumaca, Quezon.

Lt. Col. Christopher M. Diaz assumed post as the new 80IB commanding officer replacing Lt. Col. Melencio W. Ragudo who will be installed on Monday as the new battalion commander of the 59th Infantry (CADRE) Battalion.

On the other hand, Lt. Col. Arnold L. Gasalatan took over as the new 85IB commander succeeding Lt. Col. Ely R. Tono who opted to retire from the military service.

Parayno expressed his deepest appreciation to the accomplishments contributed by the two outgoing battalion commanders.

"Allow me to commend you for successfully graduating as battalion commanders with flying colors. Indeed, you have effectively marched your respective battalions in pursuit of our mission,” the 2ID commander said.

He lauded the two for successfully leading various combat operations in their areas which resulted in the neutralization of several New People’s Army rebels and the recovery of various firearms.

“These extensively decimated the leadership structure and degraded the NPA members,” Parayno said.

He also welcomed the new commanding officers Diaz and Gasalatan in their respective posts “with high hopes that their vast military experiences and competencies will be a great help to their respective units.”

"I encourage you to maintain your passion and enthusiasm that you have shown from your previous units to your new work. Carry on the torch of persistently confronting the real and present enemies within our area of operations. I wish you the best days and months ahead,” he said.

Parayno also expressed gratitude for the presence and support of local government unit officials and representatives who graced the occasion.

"I am confident that with all of you, solidly supporting the Army in its programs and undertakings, we will be able to finally win the peace we all deserve. Makakaasa kayo na ang Philippine Army partikular ang 2nd Infantry Division ay laging nakahanda na paglingkuran ang mamamayan at protektahan at panatilihin ang kapayapaan sa rehiyon (Rest assured, that the Philippine Army, the 2ID in particular, stands ready to serve our people and protect and maintain the peace in the region),” he said.

A part of the military tradition, the change of command ceremony signifies the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another, marked by the passing of the unit color from an outgoing commander to an incoming one. (PNA)