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Relinquishment speech of
outgoing 8ID Commanding General
MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero
8ID PA Change of Command Ceremony
Camp Vicente Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan, Samar
August 25, 2010

MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero


I heard some comments in the past, that two years is a very short period for a good commander, but quite long for a bad one. However, since it is not my nature to raise my stock in front of people, I leave it to you to discern how I fare during my more than two years of incumbency as commander of the 8th Infantry (Storm Troopers) Division.

At any rate, let us look back to what we did since 04 June 2008, the day when the Great Architect of the Universe gave me the chance of spearheading this Division.

In line with the TEAM ARMY concept, we immediately set the motion of developing the team spirit and cohesion of our personnel. The result of which was the emergence of TEAM 8ID where the effort and contribution of each and every member are appropriately recognized and given due regard.

Today, Team 8ID continues to serve, with commitment and pride, the people of the barangays and communities within the division’s area of responsibility as its major contribution to the attainment of TEAM ARMY’s overall mission.

During my watch, I saw to it that there were no surprises in the way I managed and led our Division. What I really wanted was for us, the STORMTROOERS, to relearn the good old ways of doing things and unlearn the bad old habits. We started with the basics to be able to address the necessities of our soldiers. We built and renovated many facilities, inside and outside our Division Headquarters, including our Station Hospital, our Training Facilities, the Wellness Center and other sport facilities for the welfare and general well-being of our personnel.

We also improved our administrative processes and our support system to our field units in order to raise the level of their morale. We made them feel that the Division cares for them. We took the responsibility of looking after their welfare and keeping their spirits high so that our soldiers are always motivated and inspired to perform their duties and responsibilities to the best of their abilities.

And to keep all of us motivated and committed to our duties and responsibilities, we continue to conduct internal consolidation and wholesome endeavors for the promotion and unity in our Division. We kept on inculcating the essence of professionalism among our troops during regular Troop Information and Education (TI & E) sessions and during leadership training for our Squad leaders, Platoon Sergeants, First Sergeants, Platoon Leaders and even during Seminar-Workshops for our Company commanders. We pursued all these things not only to maintain but also to raise the level of effectiveness and efficiency of our organization.

Another good old habit that’s worth highlighting was our policy on transparency, especially on the utilization and management. We embraced transparency to make sure that our limited resources are judiciously used to support all our administrative and operational pursuits which were geared for the accomplishment of our mission. This is one aspect that we should be circumspect about and must re-learn, especially when we tend to forget under tempting situations.

To continue, it is very evident that our civil-military cooperation efforts had taken a big leap. Our partnership and linkages with local government units and other stakeholders for security and development are improving. In fact, our TEAM 8ID activities were not solely orchestrated by our units and personnel but also participated in by various individuals and organizations which equally share our aspirations and vision for the provinces within our area of responsibility. If I have to cite a particular case wherein we had a breakthrough in terms of forging a relationship with other sectors whose advocacy is to ensure that the people get what they rightfully deserve from the government, then I have to mention our involvement for with the Samar Island Partnership (SIPPAD) which is spearheaded by our beloved Bishops of the Archdioceses of the 3 Provinces of Samar Island. It’s a great experience to be a part of SIPPAD and its noble advocacy.

Furthermore, as a manifestation of our collective desire to enhance the level of our system of coordination and cooperation in Region 8, the Division had already established the Regional Internal Security Operations Coordinating Center (RISOCC) in San Jose, Tacloban City. As mandated by law, the RISSOCC is a body under the regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), which shall focus on the coordination of internal security operations (ISO) efforts of civil authorities and agencies, military and police.

As I have said earlier, the Coordinating Center was already established and all that is needed is to fine-tune its conceptual framework so that it would soon become operational and beneficial to the people of Eastern Visayas.

All along, the crucial and most compelling pursuits of our Division were our operations against the political and armed components of the communist terrorists operations and their cohorts from several sectoral organizations. I have to admit that while we registered many successes against them, we also suffered setbacks and losses. I am particularly saddened by the loss of lives of some of our soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in defending our country and protecting people from terrorist mayhem. In the midst of this harsh reality in the military service, we become more determined to accomplish our mission. In fact, we were able to reduce the number of guerilla fronts in Samar and Leyte Islands and gained tremendous headways in Bohol and Cebu as both provinces were already declared as insurgency-free during separate simple rites wherein the primary responsibility for Internal Security was already handed-over from the military to their Provincial Peace and Order council (PPOC) early this year.

But our job did not stop from there. Our gains became a daunting challenge to protect and preserve. We wanted it to be irreversible, that is why we never let our guards down. We further strengthened our Integrated Territorial Defense System (ITDS), in the barangays that we have already cleared of terrorist infestations. Yet, today the enhancement of our ITDS is still a work in progress even as we move forwards conceptualizing a system for its eventual fusion with the PNP’s Integrated Area Community Public Safety Plan (IACPSP). This may, be a difficult undertaking for now, but i have the optimism that this can be done if we continue to work alongside our counterparts from the PNP and our fellow Public servants from the local government units and line agencies.

Another work in progress is the maximum utilization of the capabilities of our reservists to support our operational pursuits. For now, Headquarters, Philippine army has started looking into their further development to prepare them to form part of our Integrated Territorial Defense System. I fully support this initiative because I am also convinced that the Division could achieve more by harnessing the capabilities and expertise of our reservists in our area of responsibility.

Taking a cue from all of these, I know that there are still a lot of things to do. But, while such is the case, we cannot just ignore the fact that we likewise have done and accomplished many things, which in all candidness should be credited to those who rightfully deserve.

Credit therefore goes to every member of Team 8ID, our Inter agency partners, and the people in the communities, for the services we’ve rendered during my tour of duty. Certainly, our higher headquarters- the HPA and GHQ- helped much in providing the support, the guidance and motivation for our operations and noble endeavors for the people in our area of responsibility. To everyone, my thanks are never ending… At this instance, let me present my Tour of Duty Report

To our Presiding Officer -

With the kind indulgence of the CGPA, may I take this opportunity to present command plaques to personalities and agencies…

Ladies and gentlemen, throughout my stewardship of this Division, we repeatedly emphasized that in Team 8ID, we believe in each other. As I relinquish my command and responsibility. I hope that the STORMTROOPERS will continue to be united and continue to believe in themselves as one cohesive force that can make a difference in the lives of people in Region 8 and parts of Region7. By believing in each other, TEAM 8ID can do more as it untiringly pursue its noble cause for the Samarnons, the Leytenos, the Biliranons, the Cebuanos and the Boholanos.

As I relinquish my command, I leave the 8th Infantry Division with great humility and gratefulness to all the Stormtroopers, from the Asst Div. Comdr down to the lowest ranking officer, enlisted personnel, cafgu and civilian employee. Thank you very much and God bless us all!   (Running time 0:13:33)


MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero with media
New AFP NCR Command chief MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero is flanked with two Samar beauties – writers Emy Bonifacio and Gina Dean-Ragudo. A framed photo was given by Samar as a token of friendship and gratitude to the good General during the occasion of the Change of Command Ceremony. At extreme right is the Region Eight Tri-Media Association president Henry Lagrimas.