BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Loved by the people, feared by enemy.
This is the mantra of Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo that he will apply in peace and development campaign in Western and Central Visayas, upon assuming command of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division on September 21.
Arevalo said it is the same mantra that he had applied in Negros Island, while he was still the commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, that also led to the capture of then Negros rebel chieftain Frank Fernandez and his wife, Cleofe, due to the cooperation of the Negrenses, among his other marked achievements.
It will be business as usual for us, such as the conduct of relentless operations against the New People’s Army remnants, linkages with local governments and national agencies in the conduct of Community Support Program activities, and other stakeholder engagements, among others, Arevalo added.
With the onset of elections, Arevalo said they want to put further pressure on the NPA so they cannot terrorize candidates and people in rural communities.
Army chief Maj. Gen. Andres Centino will preside over the 3ID change of command between Brig. Gen. Noel Baluyan and Arevalo through a telethon.
Arevalo said that he will also give priority to boosting the morale and welfare of 3rd Infantry Division personnel, with logistics forwarded to the field units.
As 3ID commander, Arevalo will supervise three Army infantry brigades in Regions 6 and 7.
The 3ID headquarters is only to give order and command, and not to be served by subordinate units, he stressed.
Baluyan is sliding down to his previous assignment as Assistant Division Commander, after serving as 3ID commander in acting capacity, following the retirement of Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya from the military service on September 6.
Brig. Gen. Gabriel Viray, assistant to AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil Military Operations, is expected to replace Arevalo, pending announcement of his successor.
The 3ID spokesperson, Maj. Cenon Pancito III, has been also reassigned to the AFP general headquarters as commander of the Media Civil Affairs Group, station manager of AFP radio DWDD and a host to UNTV television program.*