97th Infantry Battalion welcomes new commander

CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS—The former Executive Officer of 102nd Infantry Brigade assumes as the new commander of the 97th Infantry Battalion today in a Change of Command Ceremony presided by Maj. Gen. Gene M. Ponio, the 1ID Commander, in Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Lt. Col. Nolasco B. Coderos Jr. took over the position from Lt. Col. Manaros M. Boransing II, who will be designated as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, G7, 1ID.

Lt. Col. Boransing held the position for two years, from 2019-2021, and successfully led the unit in accomplishing its mission. Their numerous encounters resulted in the recovery of 34 assorted high-powered firearms, four low-powered firearms, neutralized four enemies, including individuals with high-ranking positions in the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) of Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC), contributing to the surrender of 37 communist New People’s Army terrorists.

On Feb. 26, 2021, the battalion received the AFP Campaign Streamer after dismantling four guerilla fronts of the WMRPC, namely the Guerilla Front FELICIANO ALPHA, HQ KALAW, Main Regional Guerilla Unit, and the Regional Urban Committee, Regional Operations Command.

Also, 17 CTG-affected barangays of Zamboanga del Norte were declared clear from enemy threats, apprehended four personalities who were wanted for various criminal charges, and one for possession of illegal drugs in support of Law Enforcement Operation.

Boransing is grateful to all the officers and enlisted personnel of the battalion for their unending support. He also assured the incoming battalion commander that 97IB has a capable working force.

Likewise, Lt. Col. Coderos is thankful to the 1ID commander for trusting his capability to lead the battalion and vowed to support the mission of the 102nd Infantry Brigade and the 1st Infantry Division.

As the newly installed 97IB commander, Coderos addressed the Kalasaglahi troops and promised that he will work with them, prepare, and perform with them.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ponio thanked both the outgoing and the newly installed commander. Maj. Gen. Ponio advised the latter to trust his men and lead the battalion professionally, especially in managing the triad operations, resources, and personnel.

“Aside from focusing on operations, let us also focus on the troops’ morale. Kapag nakalimutan natin ang morale ng tropa, hindi natin ma-accomplish ang mission,” Ponio stressed.

He also emphasized that military personnel should, at all times, display discipline, stay healthy during the pandemic, and have themselves vaccinated.

Additionally, Ponio mentioned the significant results of the EO 70, which aims to address the root causes of insurgency and end local armed conflict. He further urged the battalion to be more aggressive in ending the insurgency within its area of operation. Present during the activity are Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, the 102Bde Commander; Col. Antonio John Divinagracia, the 102Bde Deputy Commander; the Division staff officers; and battalion commanders under the jurisdiction of 102Bde.

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