2 Army reserve groups have new chiefs
- Mellanie Joy C. Rosales () - December 22, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The 7th Regional Community Defense Group Army Reserve Command (7RCDG) and the 1st Cebu Ready Reserve Battalion 701st Community Defense Center had its change of command ceremony yesterday afternoon.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who has the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, yesterday replaced Maj. Soliver Peras as commander of the 1st Cebu Ready Reserve Battalion.

Col. Norman Gomez, meanwhile, was replaced by Col. Raymundo Bañares Jr. as commander of the outgoing commander of the 7RCDG.

Garcia is the first woman to serve as chief of the army reserve group.

Garcia said if one would look at the new development in the sense of added responsibility, it is a big challenge because it is added on her responsibility as a governor.

But on the aspect of building up the reserve movement, she said there is much she can do, being the governor. This is because she could call on the entire local government units, especially the mayors, to support the reservist movement and help in the build up of the reserve command in Cebu.

“We would hope to work actively with our service together with Col. Raymundo Bañares in all of our campaign against all forms of criminality, illegal fishing and human trafficking, and to help in the preservation of environment,” Garcia said.

She said her assumption as first woman battalion commander “boosts Cebu’s image as number one province of the entire country and more so, to set yet another groundbreaking direction for the rest of those women-leaders that may follow.”

“I may be the first woman battalion commander, (but) I will not be the last. And so men, take notice, your days are numbered,” she added.

Bañares said Cebu has been declared insurgency free and so the reserve force needs to focus on assisting during disasters, among other incidents.

He said he is ready to accept the challenge and that he is committed to serve the command.

Brigadier General Joel Ibañez, commander of the Army Reserve Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, served as presiding officer of yesterday’s ceremony.

He said that in the military organization, the turnover of commands is considered part of the growing up process not only of the unit but also of the commander.

He thanked Gomez for his notable accomplishment in the “transformation of the moral fiber” of the 7RCDG. He said he will be giving Gomez more challenges this January as he will be posted as the chief of staff of the army reserve command.

He also thanked Peras for doing “a great job” in sustaining the reserve build-up in Cebu province, and for making it “stronger and relevant.”

Ibañez wished the new commanders the best and reminded them to focus not just in Cebu but also in the provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor.

As for Garcia’s being the first woman-head of the reserve battalion, he said that the position carries many surprises and challenges but with her “expertise,” Ibañez has no doubt that she can take the reserve battalion to “new heights.”  (FREEMAN)

ARMY RESERVE COMMAND OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BOHOL AND SIQUIJOR BRIGADIER GENERAL JOEL IBA CEBU CEBU GOV CEBU READY RESERVE BATTALION GARCIA RAYMUNDO BA RESERVE
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