Local News: 62IB Retraining in Place; Mayor Yap Donates Site for the Army
Knowing the scheduled retraining of 62nd Infantry Battalion which covers the northern part of Negros Occidental, Mayor Melecio Yap of Escalante City has requested Gen. Jose Mabanta, Jr., commanding general, 3rd Infantry Division, in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, not to withdraw the Battalion from Negros considering the need of the unit in the area. Serious on his request, Mayor Yap has even offered the 42 hectare government property in Brgy. Langub, Escalante City, as training site and other endeavors of the army.
In a press release from the 3ID public affairs office, Major Enrico Gil Ileto said, Major Gen. Mabanta has considered the request of Mayor Yap for the sake of the spirit of Bayanihan, not to withdraw 62IB from its area of responsibility, instead conduct the retraining in Escalante. This is first in the history of the army, that a retraining is done in its place. The retraining will start on June 1, 2012.
An infantry battalion undergoes retraining every year as per guideline of the higher headquarters, to maintain readiness and competence under the Infantry Division.
MGMabanta said, "we know the security challenges in that town, and we cannot afford to vacate the area. We already informed higher headquarters about this move.
We have to make sure that we deliver the right training to the battalion in accordance with the standards set by higher headquarters.
But forces from another battalion will temporarily take over the areas to be vacated by 62IB, anytime when the situation dictates while undergoing training. The need for security forces in Negros Island is much higher than in Panay Island. 2/3 of the 3ID forces are in Negros. One infantry Brigade is in Panay Island, while in Negros there are two.
Maj.Ileto also said, Lt. Col. Efren Morados, battalion commander, 62IB has already submitted to the local government of Escalante City the program of work for possible funding support needed in the said retraining of the unit.
As to the rumor that Mayor Yap is a supporter of the New People’s Army, Mabanta defended the Mayor that it is just an allegation hurled against him. This will certainly dispel these rumors and
speculations. "We see now that he is indeed pro-government," Mabanta further said.*