Coballes thanks Celso, Beng for untiring support to WMC PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 October 2012 14:30

In relinquishing his post as commander of the Western Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Noel Cobballes on Wednesday thanked Mayor Celso Lobregat, District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar and other stakeholders in the region for their untiring support to the command during his nine-month stint.

“I am very grateful for having served the WesMinCom for nine challenging months and I have to thank so many people for ensuring that I will not fail. First on my list is ARRM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, the city government of Zamboanga under Mayor Celso Lobregat. Thank you, Mayor Lobregat for being supportive and for being a gracious host to WesMinCom. Thank you po sa inyo Mayor Lobregat,” General Coballes said in his message during the change of command Wednesday at the WesMinCom gym.

General Coballes relinquished his post to Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion based in Cotabato City, in the presence of AFP Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, the commanders of the different military units and top police officers in the region.

Coballes, who now occupies the second highest post of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as vice chief of staff effective Friday, also thanked Congresswoman Climaco “for her untiring support to this command and for her concern for the soldiers and their families.

“I also thank other local government chief executives in our area of responsibility for their cooperation and for allowing themselves to understand our mission and also for allowing themselves to be partners in carrying out the tasks stipulated in our campaign plan Bayanihan,” he said.

Records showed that the WesMinCom under Coballes’ tenure had seized 19 enemy camps, safe houses and marijuana plantations; recovered 241 assorted firearms, 21 improvised explosive devices and materials; apprehended 105 persons, 16 foreign and domestic vessels; confiscated P11.9 million worth of illegal goods, P1 million worth of assorted lumbers and rescued 9 kidnapped victims.

The general likewise recognized the partnership that WesMinCom had forged with the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace led by its president, Fr. Angel Calvo, for being the command’s guide in ensuring that the internal peace and security under Oplan Bayanihan was supported by the people.

“Thank you for believing in the soldiers’ significant role in the peaceful resolution of armed conflict,” Coballes said of Fr. Calvo.

The former WesMinCom commander also gave out his special gratitude to the American troops under Joint Special Operations Task Force- Philippines (JSOTF-P) headed by Col. Mark Miller.

“We can no longer quantify the support that you have provided us to improve our tactical capability. The men and women of JSOTF-P have always been instrumental in developing the tactical efficiency of our soldiers and increasing survivability in combat,” General Coballes said.

To the officers, men and women of the WesMinCom, Coballes thanked them in this wise: “I am grateful for your professionalism and dedication to service. Not a single day have I been prostrated as WesMinCom commander.” — Vic Larato