Brigadier General Nestor Herico formally assumed Wednesday as the new commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) stationed in Palawan.
Herico succeeded Brig. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan in a change-of-command ceremony led by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Casem, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), at the Marine Base Rodolfo Punsalang in Barangay Tiniguiban.
“It is with great confidence that I assure and inform you that the 3rd MBDe is in good hands. Rest assured that I will continue the admirable work of my predecessor that brought honor and pride to our beloved PMC to the best of my ability,” Herico said.
Herico’s first order effective February 5 to the officers and men of the brigade is to adopt Gaerlan’s priorities and current orders, citing they are still in effect until further notice.
He said his objectives are “mission accomplishment” and supporting “human resources” as he believes providing their needs will help achieve goals.
“We shall continue to serve our countrymen and our nation with dedication and commitment. In our present roles provided by the national leadership, we, as peace-builders, law enforcers, and supporters of national development, should be guided by these command objectives that I declare today,” he said in his speech.
For mission accomplishment, goal-oriented approaches can be expected in all activities of the 3MBDe, especially the campaign against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and other threats to the peace and order in Palawan.
The same can be expected in dealing with threats to the sovereignty of the nation.
“We shall identify our long and short term goals while seriously considering our partnership with the national and local governments. We shall work hand-in-hand and forge an alliance with the government of Palawan and different government agencies, civil society organizations, the academe, and other stakeholders in order to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he said.
He said the 3MBDe will continue to bring to the fold of the law Palaweños who have been “unfortunately” deceived by the CPP-NPA-NDF to take up arms against the government.
“We shall bring them down from the mountains and accept them in our communities and help them become valued citizens who shall contribute to nation-building. We shall open an avenue of engagement and consultation to the people of Palawan in order for us to effectively and promptly assist the local government in sustaining an environment that is conducive to economic growth,” he added.
Boosting the morale of the officers, men, and women will also take priority in his leadership, pointing out that they are important in ensuring that the 3MBDe’s goals are achieved on schedule.
Gaerlan, who will be assigned as deputy chief of staff for intelligence, J2 of the Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, received various medals for his leadership achievements in Palawan as commander of the 3MBDe.
Among these were military merit medal ad interim for meritorious and valuable service against different threat groups in his area of responsibility through focused, intelligence, and civil military operations that led to the recovery of various firearms and ammunition from the rebels, the capture of NPA members and leaders, and surrender of ranking rebel leader Ka Allan.
His leadership also led to the brigade receiving the Kapayapaan Award personally handed by President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila recently.
In his speech, Gaerlan said he thanks the people of Palawan for standing by the 3MBDe in the accomplishment of its objectives under his command and leadership.
“I thank the people of the province of Palawan for this opportunity to serve you in one year and six months as a commander of the 3MBDe and the Joint Task Force Peacock. I am happy to leave knowing we have accomplished all the tasks that were given,” he said, also thanking the personnel of the brigade.