Army chief tells soldiers: Keep morale high
MAWAB, DAVAO DE ORO—Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. told soldiers to keep their morale high amid recent controversies hounding several of their colleagues in the uniformed service.
“We are being bashed by a lot of people, especially because of some activities that a few of our members have done,” Brawner told troops during the change of command ceremony here for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID).
“But I would like to reach to you, let us remain professional. Let us focus on our jobs, give the best we can. Always maintain the culture of excellence,” Brawner added.
“Huwag tayong masyadong makinig sa ingay sa labas. Huwag tayong ma low morale,” he further said.
During his talk, Brawner avoided mentioning names or a specific incident, although it came just two days after police filed complaints against seven Army personnel and three civilians for the killing of Davao City model Yvonne Chua Plaza last Dec. 29.
Brawner also skipped an awaited interaction with journalists wanting a chance to interview him about the alleged involvement of Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, Col. Michael Licyayo, and five of their subordinates in the killing of Plaza.
The public affairs personnel of 10ID said Brawner had to catch a flight.
The 10ID’s command includes the 1001st Infantry Brigade which has become controversial recently due to the allegations against Durante, its erstwhile commander, and Licyayo, his deputy commander, and the five other soldiers.
Brawner presided over the handover of 10ID from retiring Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin to Maj. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra at Camp General Manuel T Yan Sr. here.
Prior to his appointment, Niembra, a native of Polomolok, South Cotabato, served as Inspector General of the Philippine Army from August 2022. He belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991 (Sambisig).
Mempin, of Class of 1990 (Bigkis Lahi), bowed out of military service after 36 years as a soldier.
Brawner lauded Mempin for leading the Army in the effort to rid the Davao region of communist rebels, noting that its five provinces have been declared insurgency-free.
In his valedictory, Mempin urged the soldiers to “continue with our work… (and) maintain the discipline and morale of the organization.”
He said that a good antidote against the activities of communist insurgents is “possessing a good heart for service, not just good tactical skills.”
Mempin also told soldiers to “build on your reputation.”
READ: 8 Army officers face raps for Davao City model’s slay
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