By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine Army (PA) has activated a new Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) base in Bicol to strengthen its intensified focused military operations in the region.
Major General Fernando Trinidad, commander of the 9th Infantry Division (9ID) based in Camarines Sur, officiated in the unfurling of the unit colors of the Ninth Division CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) Affairs Unit at Camp Elias Angeles on Monday.
The new CAFGU component will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Monjardin, erstwhile commander of the 22nd Infantry [Valor] Battalion (22IB).
Trinidad expressed confidence that Monjardin will be able to sustain the intensified military operations in Bicol region against insurgency and other domestic threats, which continue to be a problem in the area.
“I am confident that you will perform excellently just as when you were the head of the Valor Battalion. I know that it is not easy to start a new unit but if we will work hand in hand, everything is achievable,” Trinidad told Monjardin during the ceremony.
Aside from the activation of the new CAFGU, the 22nd IB which previously managed the CAA, will be reverted to its original function as a maneuver battalion.
This means that its primary purpose will be to plug into operational formations, support brigade combat teams once deployed, and to conduct tactical level tasks and support.
Meanwhile, a Sniper Company will also be activated to further enhance the 9ID’s capability to address all forms of domestic threats and secure the people and communities in the region.
Trinidad said the adjustments made by the 9th ID were part of their efforts to curb the atrocities and illegal activities made by the communist groups in Bicol Region what with the establishment of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) 5 or Task Force Katuninongan asin Kauswagan where all local government agencies and local government units work together to address the problem on armed conflict.