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PIA Press Release

54IB returns from retraining in NCR

Camp Melchor dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela (23 October) -- The 5th Infantry Division, formally welcomes back one of its organic combat unit, the 54th Infantry Battalion, here October 22, after having been sent to Manila in the midst of talks about coup attempts.

Maj. Gen. Melchor J. Dilodilo, the Commanding General of the 5ID, opened his message by extending his sympathies for the victims of the recent bombing in Glorietta Mall last Friday and hoped that the perpetrators be brought immediately to justice.

The 54IB, under its Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Benjamin M. Laguardia, has just undergone retraining as the centerpiece of the 5ID's effort in force development, when orders came for their movement to Manila on the night of September 21. The Battalion, which served as augmentation force, was able to report to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City in less than 24 hours. The movement formed part of the operational readiness exercise of the NCR Command to measure the speed and number of troops available for immediate reinforcements. This is to have a ready force available to thwart any possible coup attempts that may be carried out by anti-government forces who use "flimsy" and "old" issues against the government.

Maj. Gen. Dilodilo affirms that the 5ID will remain solid and will follow the chain of command in the performance of sworn duties.

He added saying: "We will not hesitate to send another batch of troops to augment the forces in NCR if the need arises if only to protect the people and for national security."

The 54IB has instituted several changes in its organization, particularly on operating procedures, and in the enhancement of clothing, equipment and supplies after their retraining here at the Division Training Unit. The lessons gave more emphasis on the observance of human rights and counter-insurgency operations.

The 54IB is set to return to its station to cover the provinces of Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, and the southern towns of Isabela, particularly Jones, Echague, San Guillermo, and Angadanan.

Maj. Gen. Dilodilo is assertive that in the next few weeks after the 54IB has settled down, the 5ID can once again work in full throttle, expecting a better equipped, well-trained, and more professional combat unit capable of addressing the insurgency problem and other security concerns in the area. (5ID-PA) [top]

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