BY VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
MANAOAG – The Philippine Army is proud to say it has won the peace in Luzon, but the challenge is to keep and maintain the peace.
Major Gen. Angelito De Leon, commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, said the Philippine Army will continue its mandate to secure and protect communities but it needs the help of everyone.
“We have won the peace. The challenge now is keeping that peace,” De Leon said during the 28th founding anniversary of the 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade under the 7ID, held at Camp Tito Abat in Manaoag town on Thursday.
De Leon said the army is in a state of change and is persevering its efforts through the Army Transformation Roadmap where the organization, structure, capabilities and even the individuals are upgraded.
“Our aim is not only to reform the unit but more so, to reform the individual soldier,” De Leon said adding that upgrading the equipment, weapons and vehicles will be of no use if the individual soldier is not improved.
Commander Milfredo Melegrito of the 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade echoed the same sentiment saying “security is a shared responsibility.”
“To the Defender troopers, let us continue our journey of service guided by this year’s theme, ‘your defender in peace and partner in development’,” Melegrito said.
Melegrito said part of the anniversary celebration is the awarding and recognition of stakeholders to thank them for their support.
Pre-anniversary activities included a blood letting drive in partnership with the Region I Medical Center where 11,000 cc of blood was collected and a tree planting activity in partnership with the Philippine Dental Association where 107 coconut seedlings and assorted fruit bearing trees were planted. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)