4ID Gets New Commander

PATAG, Cagayan de Oro City – Major General Romeo Saturnino Brawner Jr assumed as the new Commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army during the Change of Command Ceremony held yesterday, July 5, 2021 at the Headquarters 4ID, Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.

MGen Brawner Jr, a native of Baguio City and member of Philippine Military Academy “Makatao” Class of 1989, replaced Major General Andres C Centino, the recently installed Commanding General of the Philippine Army through a traditional Change of Command Ceremony presided by General Cirilito E Sobejana, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Prior to his present designation, Major General Brawner held the position as the first Deputy Chief of Staff for Financial Management, J10 of the GHQ, AFP. He also served as the Commandant of Cadets of the Philippine Military Academy, the Commander of the 103rd Brigade during the liberation of Marawi City and , served as the spokesperson of the Philippine Army and Chief of AFP Public Affairs Office.

In his assumption speech, MGen Brawner delivered a reconciliatory but firm message to the New People’s Army (NPA) encouraging them to return to the folds of the law and to live a normal life while also directly identifying the said organization as the biggest illegal business enterprise in the country that collected Billions of Pesos from extortion activities.

“Mag balik-loob kayo, hindi sa gobyerno, pero magbalik-loob kayo sa mapayapang pamumuhay. Makaka-asa kayo na tutulungan namin kayo na mag bagong-buhay. H’wag kayong pumayag na habang nagpapakahirap kayo sa bundok ay nagpapakasarap naman ang mga lider ninyo sa Netherlands”. He also said that “We can stop extortion by the NPA with the cooperation of the private sector, the LGUs and the hard working citizens”.

He also appealed to all partners and stakeholders to continue supporting the soldiers to work towards achieving lasting peace in the area while delivering a clear message as a stern warning against the New People’s Army who continuously exploit and recruit the youths, IPs and extort from the people.

“I am not red tagging you. I am tagging you as common criminals – arsonists, extortionists and murderers. Hence, my offer stands to the NPA – mag balik loob kayo, kung ayaw ninyo, prepare to face the consequences”, MGen Brawner added.

Meanwhile, MGen Centino, the outgoing Commander, extended his deepest gratitude to all individuals, Units, and Offices of 4ID, and partners and people of Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions for the support and trust which are instrumental to the significant milestones he achieved during his tenure as the 4ID Commander.

He underscored the “two-pronged approach” that set the direction of his counter insurgency campaign creating ground-breaking strategies and innovations after taking the helm of the 4ID last May 29, 2020, leading the way to victories against the communist terrorist group.

“Today marks the last day I served as a Diamond trooper. But truly its brilliant influence and lessons will always stay with me. Though I am now in a different path, our destination remains the same, towards a nation that is free from terror, a place where generations of Filipinos hailing from diverse cultures can thrive in peace, and attain in prosperity”, MGen Centino said.

Per record, a total of 5,556 CPP-NPA Terrorist were neutralized, 26 of whom were High Value Individuals or CTG Leaders while 45 were killed in armed encounters and 91 were captured that dealt the CTG in Northern Mindanao and Caraga with heavy blows. Likewise, a total of 5,420 CTG personalities surrendered to the government, 682 firearms were either seized or surrendered, and 196 enemy hideouts were discovered and seized during his stint.

In his message, GENERAL SOBEJANA stated that he is confident that the 4ID’s campaign will be continued under the leadership MGen Brawner Jr with his rich experience as he also recognized the major contribution of MGen Centino that propelled the 4ID as the fightingest Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

Said ceremony was witnessed by AFP Commanders and partner stakeholders from Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions thru Face to Face and virtual attendance.

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