CHANGE OF COMMAND. Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag (center), commander of the 4th Infantry Division, leads the change of command at the 58th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Claveria, Misamis Oriental on Friday (Sept. 30, 2022). Mamawag said Saturday (Oct. 1, 2022) the change of leadership would continue the gains of the Army against the communist rebels. (Photo courtesy of 58IB-4ID)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) based here has made halting any attempt of the communist rebels to reorganize, as one of its long-term objectives.

In a statement Saturday, Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, commander of the 4ID, said this is part of the Army's "continuous and sustained efforts" to free communities, especially those in the hinterlands, from the violence perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA).

"We won’t stop at just toppling down the CTGs (communist terrorist groups), we must be able to ensure that after destroying them, we will not give them any chance to recover, rearm, and regroup. We will make sure that they will remain on the ground unable to do what they used to do – and that is to sow violence and terrorism in our area of responsibility," Mamawag said.

He, however, said despite their hardline stance, they would give a chance to combatants who want to surrender.

On Friday, Mamawag also led the change of command ceremony at the 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) headquarters in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

Lt. Col. Christian Uy, the new 58IB commander, said he would continue the best practices and anti-communist campaign of his predecessor, Lt. Col. Ricky Canatoy.

The change of command is a military tradition that signifies the formal transfer of power and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another once the battalion commander has completed his tour of duty.

During Canatoy's stint, the 58IB was able to dismantle three NPA guerilla fronts, including all of Sub-Regional Committee 1, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (SRC1, NCMRC), which made significant progress in maintaining peace and order and capability development in eastern Misamis Oriental and Camiguin provinces.

The last community partnership led by Canatoy for the 58IB was the "Anlag Ani Tapukanan Livelihood Arcade" for former rebels in Sitio Migbanday, Poblacion, Claveria town on September 28. (PNA)