Division, Philippine Army celebrates its 26th Founding Anniversary
By DPAO, 8ID PA
August 2, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army
celebrated its 26th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2014.
Hon. Sharee Ann Tan-Delos
Santos, Governor of Samar; Hon. Mel Senen S. Sarmiento, 1st District
Congressman of Samar Province; Hon. Emil L. Ong, 2nd District
Congressman of Northern Samar; Hon. Gracing the occasion was Lt. Gen.
John S. Bonafos, Commander, Central Command, who was also the guest of
honor and speaker. The activity was well-attended with the presence of
key stakeholders throughout the region. Ronaldo S. Aquino, Mayor
Calbayog City; Hon Antonio B. Delos Reyes Jr., Mayor of Biri, Northern
Samar; Mr. Virgilio DC Galvez, Philippine Information Agency Region 8,
Deputy Director General, Mr. Rommel Rutor, President, Stormtrooper
Press Corps, PCSUPT Henry P. Losanes, Police Regional Director 8 and
representatives from the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.
The celebration started with
a field mass and was followed by wreath laying for the fallen soldiers
of 8ID for the year 2013-2014.
Lt. Gen. Bonafos praised the
active and exemplary performance of the Stormtroopers. In his message,
“This is an opportune time to commend the Stormtroopers for the
accomplishments and the successes you have made in weakening the enemy
by constricting their movements and activities.”
In addition, Bonafos also
praised the Stormtroopers for its part in the Humanitarian Assistance
Disaster Response when super typhoon Yolanda struck the region.
“Talaga namang nakakamangha ang ginawa ng mga sundalo ng 8ID at ito ay
nasaksihan hindi lang ng mga kababayan natin ditto sa ating Bansa,
kundi maging ang mga tao sa buong mundo.”
Meanwhile, as 8ID celebrates
its 26th Founding Anniversary the following are its accomplishment for
CY 2013-2014 in performing its mandate as the protector of the people
and the state in Eastern Visayas: It has initiated 56 encounters
against NPA rebels which resulted to the neutralization of 8 NPA
rebels and the recovery of 22 high-powered and 16 low-powered
In addition, it facilitated
the surrender of 50 NPA rebels to the government who brought along
with them eight (8) high powered and 15 low–powered firearms. Under
Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the Office of the
Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAPP), the Division was able
to facilitate the release of P1.19M benefits for 21 of the
surrenderees. Other surrenderees who have not yet received their
benefits are still on process and due to be release anytime.
In performing its mandate,
12 of our comrades made the ultimate sacrifice of defending our
beloved country, while 18 soldiers were wounded in action (WIA) during
the same period.
The Division was also
instrumental in the declaration of 20 of 26 towns of Samar and 21 out
of 24 towns of Northern Samar as Manageable Conflict-Affected and
Development-Ready areas. By year-end 2014 all the remaining towns are
expected to be declared as MCADR. Meaning, peace and order will be
stable as NPA influence and presence in the said towns will be minimal
and can be adequately addressed by the local governments units thru
the Philippine National Police.
Maj. Gen Jet B. Velarmino,
Commander of the 8th Infantry Division in his message said, “During
the 26 years of the 8ID’s struggle to maintain peace, its partnership
with the peace-loving stakeholders of Eastern Visayas was the source
of its inner strength in coping with the challenges along its path in
the pursuit of peace and development. We were and are indebted with
the people for the things that have we accomplished.”
“With the stakeholders as
the partner of the Division in all its endeavors, I am full of
optimism that the partnership will hurdle all the challenges that lie
ahead,” he added.