Mongao took over the battalion last May 22 from Lt. Col. Leomar Jose M. Doctolero.
KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte – Lt. Col. Audie A. Mongao is now the new commanding officer of the 15th Infantry “Molave Warrior” Battalion, Philippine Army.
Mongao assumed the post after outgoing commanding officer Lt. Col. Leomar Jose M. Doctolero relinquished TO him his command in the Change of Command Affair held at the headquarters of the 15th IB at Bagumbayan, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
Brigadier General Harold N. Cabreros, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in the Visayas, presided the affair.
The 15th Infantry “Molave Warrior” Battalion is an organic unit of the 3rd Infantry Division but was ‘barrowed’ by the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, Philippine Army based at Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, to help fight against insurgency in Tabak’s area of responsibility (AOR).
Outgoing Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Doctolero received various awards from the military, local government units, non-government and civil society organizations, business, government agencies, and other cause-oriented groups for his exemplary performances in keeping peace and developing the communities within his area of responsibility.
He has initiated important undertaking such as peace rallies, youth summit for children, kalinga sa bayan, sports activities, and many others in partnership with other government units, non-government and civil society organizations, and has managed to implement the bayanihan scheme to push forward peace and development efforts in communities. He has also succeeded in recovering kidnapped victims, loose firearms, carnapped vehicles, and kept the safety and security of the people and properties in his area of responsibility.
Lt. Col. Rommel S. Pagayon, G1 of the 3rd ID read the relief and designation orders of the outgoing and incoming commanding officers.
In his relinquishment of command message, Lt. Col. Dotolero said that one year and 10 months ago, he assumed the post as commanding officer of the 15th Infantry “Molave Warrior” Battalion, and today, Friday (May 20) he is saying goodbye as he thanked all who have contributed to the accomplishments of the battalion. He also thanked his superior military officers in the Division and Brigade levels for their trust and confidence in assigning him as commanding officer of the 15th IB of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army. He also thanked the people and partners in the development projects for their support and cooperation as well as the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAPP), the Gawad Kalinga, the MNLF and MILF, the ECO-Web and the media groups for their valuable support in the accomplishments their job. He also thanked the Lanao del Norte Auxiliary Unit and other organizations whom he had worked with for almost 2 years. He said they have done a lot in bringing the army closer to the people, empowered the youth, kept peace despite roadblocks, achieved meaningful success measured on how much we have touched the lives of the people. He said this is the time to recognize our achievements and those who have supported us along the way.
Lt. Col. Doctolero also said that he was sorry for being at times too strict and push his people to the limit. He said he was sorry for the decisions he has made as he made them as the best decisions for the people of Lanao del Norte. He said he is giving the command to Lt. Col. Mongao as he signed the relinquishment papers in the presence of all witnesses of the change of command affair.
Brigadier General Cabreros turned over the command symbol to the incoming commanding officer Lt. Col. Mongao.
In his assumption of command message, Lt. Col. Mongao said the he is ready to assume the command as he signed the assumption papers in the presence of the witnesses of the affair. He said he will continue the programs of the battalion and will do his level best to perform his job as battalion commander of the 15th IB, as he thanked all the people who witnessed the affair.
In his message, Brigadier General Cabreros congratulated the principals, the outgoing and the incoming commanding officers of the 15th IB. Invoking the supremacy of the civilian authority over the military, Gen. Cabreros acknowledged the civilian leaders who attended the affair. He said change of command signals the end and the beginning of the dynamism of the command. He said both commanders are genuinely professional commanders who are committed to the internal public safety and security plan or bayanihan . He said he hopes that the new commander will carry on the the work with the same dedication. He said I am confident that the new commander will bring the unit to greater heights. He said the campaign plan or bayanihan should be implemented with the participation of all stakeholders as he called on the men and women in uniform to continue their dedication to duty. He said in winning peace there are three (3) important aspects which include changing habits, touching hearts and winning minds. He said the military policy is the big letter O. He said O stands for obedience. He said as soldiers we are to serve our country and people selflessly. He said we have to obey the laws of nature and what God has given; obey our own rules and regulations within the organization; obey the commitments for the family; and obey the words of the Almighty.
General Cabreros said that the 3rd Infantry Division covers central and western Visayas and based in Panay Island. He said the 15th IB was barrowed by the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division to help fight insurgency in Mindanao.
A memento in the form of treasure box was given to General Cabreros by Lt. Col. Mongao.
The change of command affair was attended by military and police officers, representatives of local government units, national offices, like OPAPP, NBI, business, non-government, like IMT, ECO-WEB, Non Violence Peace Force, and civil society organizations, like CSOFP, Pakigdait, Birthdev, Mern, including the media.
The change of command affair started off with the mass singing of the National Anthem, followed by ecumenical prayer, and ended up with the mass singing of the 3rdID Hymn led by Cpl Robemel J. Democrito. Sgt. Phillip William E. Aliperio ably served as master of ceremony. TNRS