Philippine Army installs new commander for 302nd IB

BGen. Noel Baluyan (center) hands over the flag to MGen. Eric Vinoya (right) for the turnover of comannd to the new commander of 302nd Infantry Brigade, Col. Leonardo Peña (left). PIA photo

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division has installed Col. Leonardo Peña as the new command head of 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB).

Peña officially installed on Oct. 22 in a change of command ceremony held at the headquarters of the 302nd Brigade, Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City.

Peña succeeded BGen. Noel Baluyan who was promoted as the new Assistant Division Commander of the 3ID at Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz.

Peña is a former chief of Unified Command Staff (CUCS) of the Western Mindanao Command, while Baluyan has served as the 302nd IB commander for one year and two months.

In his message, Baluyan described his stint in the command as “the most socially enriching, fulfilling, rewarding and exciting assignment” he ever had.

He thanked all the stakeholders, the governor, local chief executives, Philippine National Police (PNP) counterparts, his troops, and the higher headquarters that he has worked with for helping him achieve the mission and vision of the brigade.

Baluyan requested them to give the same level of support, if not more, to the incoming Brigade commander.

On the other hand, Peña, in his acceptance speech, said, “God has a plan and vision for me to fulfill as I humbly assume this position to be of service to the Filipino people of Visayas, particularly, Negros Island.”

He assured the Negrenses that he will do his best to achieve peace and progress in his area of responsibility.

“Peace requires the integration of an encompassing approach, one that demands the employment of military and non-military solutions and leaves no sector behind. With this in mind, we shall converge and harmonize our efforts to attain our comprehensive security template,” he continued.

Peña pronounced that the Brigade continues to strengthen cooperation with government agencies and partner stakeholders to realize inclusive peace and pursue localized peace initiatives and community support programs.

He further stressed that the 302nd Brigade “will remain a force to be reckoned with not by mere weapons but by deeds.”

MGen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the Joint Task Force Spearhead and the 32nd commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, was the keynote speaker and presiding officer of the ceremony.

In his message, he congratulated and thanked Baluyan for the remarkable services he has rendered to the 302nd IB.

He also welcomed Peña, stating that he has his full trust and confidence that he will lead the brigade with the same enthusiasm and commitment. (Jennifer Tilos, PIA)

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