The 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) headquarters in Barangay Tiniguiban has been officially named “Marine Base Rodolfo Punsalang” as a tribute to the general who is considered a hero of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) for his accomplishments during his active military service.
3MBDe commander Brigadier General Charlton Sean Gaerlan said it was named after their higher headquarters released a directive to name the location of the units.
“Naglabas na kasi ng directive ang headquarters ng Marine Corps sa lahat ng unit na ‘yong mga area na pagmamay-ari ng Marines na wala pang pangalan ay pangalanan na. Usually kasi ang basis sa pagpili kung kanino ipapangalan ay ‘yong mga naging hero natin or mga naging commandant. In this case, si General Punsalang kasi ang commandant noong time na una tayong nag-deploy ng marines sa KIG (Kalayaan Islands Group),” he said.
Punsalang was a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1954 graduate who spent his initial years in the military with the Philippine Navy (PN) until he joined the Marines.
He was designated as commanding officer of the Philippine Marine Battalion from April 28, 1966, to May 27, 1968.
Under his leadership as the commandant of the Philippine Marine Brigade in 1973, the first marines under the 6th Marine Battalion Company were deployed in Palawan in order to establish a detachment in Philippine-occupied islands in KIG followed by a series of deployment in line with the creation of Kalayaan town in 1978.
He also contributed to the intensified campaign against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in southern Palawan.
Punsalang retired from active military service in 1984.
Gaerlan explained that the accomplishments of previous leaders are recognized by naming particular headquarters after them.
“Nagiging historical kasi kapag may pangalan na. Katulad ng Fort Magsaysay, Emilio Aguinaldo o ‘yong Fort Bonifacio kasi may kuwento, mare-relate mo kung bakit sa kanya pinangalan. Pero kapag sinabi mong marine base, kahit umalis ang brigade ay ganoon pa rin ang pangalan niya, hindi na maaalis ‘yon. Katulad na lang dito, umalis man ang 3rd Marine Brigade, General Rodolfo Punsalang base pa rin siya,” he said.