The neutralization of three high-ranking rebel commanders in Brooke’s Point in September last year, according to the Philippine Marines’ leadership in Palawan, was the true test for their continued success against the New People’s Army (NPA).
During the 37th Activation Day of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) at Camp Daypo in Sofronio Española, Col. Jimmy Larida, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), said the successful operation in Barangay Mainit, Brooke’s Point, was instrumental in ripping down the NPA’s strength in the province.
Larida said MBLT-4 should be proud of its victory over the enemy since the part it played throughout the operation is significant in Palawan’s history of peace and order.
“If we go back at what the MBLT-4 did in Brooke’s Point ay ito na ang mga sumunod. With the MBLT-4’s performance in what transpired at Mainit, Brooke’s Point, it became the first hammer ball in our ongoing and succession of achievements against the terrorists in Palawan,” he said.
“After that battle in Brooke’s Point, ‘yong mga remnants nila ay tumakbo doon sa norte, sila na naman ang hinabol [ng Marine Battalion Landing Team-3]. That is why kayo dito sa south, you are communist terrorist groups (CTG)-free already. Wala na tayong sightings dito sa south,” Larida added.
The government’s successes, according to Larida, include the recent recoveries in a series of focused military operations (FMOs) of firearms, subversive documents, war materials, and other items in various parts of Palawan, and the apprehension of three NPA candidate members (kandidatong kasapi), two of whom are minors (one of whom is pregnant), in what is believed to be a rebel training camp in Roxas municipality on October 13.
Larida commended the MBLT-4, led by commander Maj. Glen Llorito, and stated the people of Southern Palawan expect more from them in terms of achieving long-term peace for economic growth.
He said that the previous marines’ victories should not be squandered, but rather should be utilized as encouragement whenever they go out into the villages in pursuit of peace.
“To MBLT-4, I am expecting more accomplishments from you. Please continue the legacy of our forefathers, we are just basking in the victory of the old marines. Ganito kakilala ang PMC (Philippine Marine Corps) ngayon — kasama ang dating accomplishments. Naghaharvest na lang tayo ngayon,” he said.
During the ceremony, MBLT-4 also handed awards to its five personnel and four stakeholders. The 24th Marine Company was also recognized as the Best Company and Best in Sports.
“To our men of MBLT-4, let’s continue our duties. Nakita niyo ang bunga ng inyong sakripisyo and always keep our motto in mind and in heart — Karangalan, Katungkulan at Kabayanihan,” Llorito said.