Ramon In, Ramon Out At The Army’s Kamagong Battalion

CHANGE OF COMMAND: LTC Ramon Zagala turns over command of the 28th Infantry Kamagong Battalion to his successor LTC Miguel Ramon. Presiding the ceremony is Major General Noel Clement, Commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

City of Mati, Davao Oriental — Two Ramons figured at the change of command ceremony of the Philippine Army’s 28th Infantry (Kamagong) Battalion here on Thursday morning.

In the words of Major General Noel Clement, commander of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division, “Lt. Col. Ramon Out, Another Lt. Col. Ramon In.”

Major General Noel Clement presides over the Change of Command Ceremony at the 28th IB.

Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon, a “multi-decorated officer and a leader of good record” replaced Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala who was credited by both the top brass of the military and top local government officials in the province for his “untiring commitment in breaking the barriers to peace, progress and development.”

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang presents a Plaque of Appreciation to 28th IB Outgoing Commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala.

“On behalf of the people of Davao Oriental, I would like to thank Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala… Our words will never be enough to thank you for your dedication and indefatigable efforts in maintaining peace in the province. Your unwavering commitment to secure our communities against all forms of security threats, and to create a safe and secure environment that is conducive to the empowerment of our people and development of communities is both humbling and inspiring. Your courageous endeavours towards the attainment of real peace and stability in our communities are worthy of praise. May you continue the legacy of good service that you had already projected to our people,” says Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang during the change of command ceremony here.

28th IB’s Outgoing Commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala

Under Lt. Col. Zagala’s watch, the 28th Infantry (Kamagong) Battalion has become the first battalion under the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division to have been conferred the “compliant” Army governance pathway status on January 31, 2017. “With this accomplishment, I congratulate Lt. Col. Zagala for his very commendable leadership, and same appreciation goes to all the snappy officers and enlisted personnel of the unit for their all-out support to their commander and to the unit’s mission. Do you know that with that achievement of yours, you have inspired other Agila units to also level up in their quest for total transformation, that your collective efforts had pave way for the command’s recent conferral of the institutionalized Army governance pathway status during the 121st celebration of the Philippine Army’s founding,” says Major General Noel Clement, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division. “Ramon you have accomplished a lot during your term and had even exceeded the target goals expected of you and your unit in relation to the command’s campaign. This day won’t be enough to enumerate all your accomplishments. Now that you are moving to your next tour of duty, I am equally happy that this won’t really be a farewell ceremony because we would be seeing each other very often now that you will become part of my triad staff. Your leadership, potentials and expertise are the very qualities direly needed by the next position you will be occupying. Closely join me in implementing our campaign and in achieving our mission again.”

During his stint, Lt. Col. Zagala’s troops seized 31 firearms from rebels during 16 encounters, and killed six enemies and captured seven rebels. Zagala says 41 communist rebels surrendered to him “which is far more than I could imagine when I took command two years ago.”

“We accomplished that by using the seven lines of operations as tools while motivating ourselves to the vast challenges ahead. We innovated by using unorthodox ways of inserting troops in the battle area, using reward and punishment and to be kind but be tough when needed to fulfill the mission. All these are not without losses, so we remember the fallen, those killed in action: Corporal Wenie Dacuag, Private First Class Jestony Orca. Died while in the service are Sgt. Hadjiri Palahuddin, Corporal Rasid Ahol, and Private First Class Jeffrey Rejas,” says Zagala.

“We empowered everyone by giving more responsibility and initiative. We expected that everyone do their jobs well by researching and being prepared. To use the left and right hand approach, soft power on the left hand to reach out to people by using the community support program, stakeholder engagement, and a host of other lines of operations. We even used music by establishing the Kamagong Band to reach out to friends and foes with music as bridge to agree with each other. To use the right hand of strength for focused military operations towards the enemy who do not heed the call for peace.”

The new commander of the 28th Infantry Kamagong Battalion Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon.

However, Major General Clement described Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon as a “multi-decorated officer and a leader of good record.” Ramon underwent numerous schoolings both local and abroad, most of which landed him on top of his class. He held positions in different units of the Army and in varying capacities. “Ramon, with your vast experience, leadership and capacity, I have high hopes that you would give the 28 Infantry Battalion a good steer towards its mission accomplishment in pursuit of sustainable peace and development in Davao Oriental,” says Major General Clement. By Ferdinand Zuasola/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan



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