CAMP SIONGCO, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao – To win peace for the people, there should be a continuous dialogue, the new 6th Infantry Division chief, Brig. Gen. Rey Ardo, said
Ardo, the government peace panel chair’s head of the ceasefire committee in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) until his assumption of the new post, took over from Maj. General Anthony Alcantara, now Deputy Chief of Staff.
“My leadership is not for personal glory in rendering service in this troubled region but a service for the people who deserve a life free from fear,” the 1981 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy said.
He assured the constituents that they can count on soldiers today in doing their part as advocates of human rights but will remain defiant in pursuing those who are conducting lawlessness.
Alcantara in his outgoing speech said that without hesitation, he accepted the challenge of putting in order the situation of his area of responsibility after that infamous Maguindanao Massacre of November
He said the 6th ID maintained a wholesome relationship with the community as it pursued the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ paradigm shift of Bayanihan where 80% of its resources and efforts are now devoted to community involvement in winning peace and development for the people.
Ardo assured Alcantara that the seeds he planted in the Division will be nurtured.
Army Chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz, the guest of honor during the turnover rites, lauded Alcantara’s efforts, notably the conduct in May 2010 of what is believed to be the most peaceful election in the history of Maguindanao.
“This is one feat that won for the men in uniform the trust and confidence of our people as they can now negotiate, without fear, the road from General Santos City to the City of Cotabato, day and night,” boasted Ortiz.
Replacing Ardo as chair of the government peace panel’s chair in the ceasefire committee or the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) is Brig. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, 6th ID Deputy Commander. Bernardo had earlier served as a member of the government’s ceasefire committee.
Ardo was assigned to head the ceasefire committee in January this year, after his stint as chief of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)