Sulu-based 4th Marine Brigade has new commander

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) on Friday installed a seasoned officer as the new commander of the 4th Marine Brigade (4MBde), one of the units of the Joint Task Force (JTF) - Sulu fighting the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Col. Vicente Mark Anthony Blanco III replaced Col. Hernanie Songano, who bowed out from military service after serving the PMC for more than 32 years, according to 1Lt. Jerrica Angela Manongdo, JTF-Sulu information officer.

Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan, PMC commandant, presided over the turnover of command ceremony at the 4MBde headquarters in Barangay Tandu Bato in Luuk town.

During Songano’s stint, the 4MBde significantly contributed to JTF-Sulu's anti-terrorism campaign as the unit neutralized 148 Abu Sayyaf bandits, seized high-powered firearms and documents of high-value information, facilitated social integration programs for Abu Sayyaf surrenderers, and recovered contraband amounting to more than PHP38 million.

Caculitan asked the 4MBde to give their full support to Blanco as they did to Songano.

He also lauded Songano for his dedication to service.

“Songano's retirement is a big loss to the organization for he will be missed but a major gain for his family as he will now be full-time husband and father. Hence, once a marine will always be a marine,” Caculitan said. (PNA)



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