NEW COMMANDER. Lt. Col. Jerold Jale delivers his first speech as commander of the Philippine Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion at the unit’s headquarters in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on Friday (June 17, 2022). He replaced Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta. (Photo courtesy of 30IB)

BUTUAN CITY – The newly installed battalion commander of the Philippine Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) will make it his priority to go after communist rebels in his jurisdiction, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands.

Lt. Col. Jerold Jale, who was installed on Friday to replace Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, said he would continue and finish the fight of the 30IB to destroy the remaining New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents in their areas.

“We will decisively engage and destroy the remaining communist members so that these provinces will have a long-lasting peace. We will also continue our active support to the local government units and the line agencies, especially in the delivery of basic services in communities,” Jale said in his speech.

Major Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, commander of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) presided over the change of command at the unit’s headquarters in Barangay Mahanud, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

Callanta, who served for 25 months, recognized the support of communities and stakeholders in the quest for genuine peace and development in the two provinces.

“There are too many persons and individuals I met along the way and all of them supported us in our campaign,” Callanta said.

Mamawag commended Callanta for his performance and contributions to the mission of the 4ID and the Eastern Mindanao Command while challenging Jale to sustain the gains of the 30IB, especially in maintaining peace and order.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)