Message of Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega; Commander, Joint Task Force Sulu during the 39th Founding Anniversary of 45th Infantry (Gallant) Battalion, 16 Oct 2016, Talipao, Sulu.
“It is with deep pleasure, honor and privilege to greet and congratulate the officers and men of the 45th Infantry (Gallant) Battalion as you celebrate the founding Anniversary of your unit.
Forty one years ago 45IB was initially formed in Samar in the early part of 1975 by the directive of no less than President Ferdinand Marcos to General Fortunato Abat.
On O5 July 1977, the 45IB as a provisional battalion was activated and exactly 39 years ago, by 24 October of 1977, 45IB became a Regular Battalion of the 3rd Infanry Division.
Your battalion saw action in different places in the Philippines and involved in numerous operations from Samar in the Visayas, to Basilan and Zamboanga Peninsula in Mindanao then to Bicol Region, Ilocos Region, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley in Luzon then back to Mindanao in 2010 particularly in Maguindanao; and today you are here in Sulu.
Your battalion has seen the steady hands of numerous commanders from the very first one in the name of LTC WILFREDO DUBLIN; to then MAJOR VOLTAIRE GAZMIN who became Commanding General of the Philipine Army and later Secretary of National Defense; to the longest serving commander of 45IB COL AMADO ISIDRO whose two years and seven months of leadership earned 45IB the much coveted awards of Best Battalion in Operations in 1982 and Best in Administration in 1983 both at the Philippine Army level.
The young generation of commanders of 45IB contributed immensely in the success of your unit as seen in 2010 with the recovery of 42 High Powered Firearms in Maguindanao and your being Champion of the 6th Infantry Division’s Company Challenge and Squad Challenge under the leadership of then LTC MARVIN LICUDINE.
The 45IB became the 6ID Best OpCon Battalion in TRIAD operations in 2013 under LTC DONALD HONGITAN while in 2015 during the Mamasapano incident, your unit then under LTC ROMEO BAUTISTA, is one of the battalions who reinforced our beleaguered troops from the PNP SAF and you were instrumental in the rescue of 30 survivors and recovery of 44 Killed In Action and 10 Wounded In Action.
The officers and men of 45IB altogether steered your battalion to achieve and reach the status it has now as one of the primary fighting unit of the AFP now in Sulu to achieve another milestone in the colorful history of your unit.
I enjoin every member of 45IB now under the able leadership of LTC RHENANTE SALVADOR to continue the same aggressiveness, passion and zeal in doing your assigned tasks as you did before in the past.
Let the officers and men of 45IB personify your unit seal in serving our people particularly here in Sulu. May the horse head symbolizing strength and speedy action be your mantra in our quest to destroy lawless elements and rescue people held captives.
May your gallantry in action be protected by the shield which also symbolizes our commitment as protectors and defenders of our citizens and humanity.
May the laurel leaves pave the way for the much needed cooperation and collaboration between our troops and all stakeholders here in Sulu as we stand for the values and attitudes of noble men in uniform in pursuit of peace and goodwill for all.
As we celebrate the 39th year of the founding of your unit; and as a tribute to those members who recently paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving the country by laying down their precious lives, may I request everyone to rise as we acknowledge their names.
Our Salute to:
Pfc Roger Warde, August 2012, encounter in Datu Piang, Maguindanao
Pfc Randy Bacalso, February 2014, encounter in Datu Piang, Maguindanao
Pfc Jesus Tabije III, June 2014, encounter in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao
Pfc Arwin Gambol, October 2014, encounter in Datu Hofer, Maguindanao
Pfc Bryan Salazar, October 2014, encounter in Datu Hofer, Maguindanao
Pfc Jeffrey Carino, July 2016, encounter in Patikul Sulu.
Let us offer one minute of prayer for them.
May the heroism and sacrifice of those before us inspire everyone to serve with more passion and conviction to achieve our mission here in Sulu.