- Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00
- Written by VICTOR REYES
By A Web design Company
A SCOUT Ranger officer awarded a Medal of Valor for a feat against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group has been named head of the Civil Military Operations Group, the Army’s arm in winning the peace through community development.
Col. Cirilito Sobejana became CMOG commander last Tuesday, replacing Col. Felimon Santos who was promoted to command the Army’s Intelligence Security Group. Sobejana was previously the commander of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion.
Sobejana won the Medal of Valor in connection with a gun battle with at least 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Isabela City in Basilan in 1995.
Sobejana, then a captain, led a Scout Ranger company in the four-hour fight that led to the death of 30 terrorists and wounding of several others. He himself sustained bullet wounds that almost severed his right arm.
Though wounded, Sobejana “continuously stood his ground and remained in control, said Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc. “He even maneuvered around, exposing himself to enemy fire to direct the encounter.”
“Now, he is about to triumph over another challenge, of leading the Civil Military Operations of the Army. If combat is utterly difficult, community work and partnering with civilian organizations are equally challenging,” said Cabunoc of Sobejana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987.
Bayanihan, the military’s blueprint in winning the peace within the term of President Aquino, was enforced by the military in January 2011. It replaced the combat-heavy Oplan Bantay Laya of the Arroyo administration.
“CMOG is the Army’s arm in conducting non-combat activities, engaging civil communities and organizations. They are tapped by public schools for their maintenance programs, particularly in electrical, carpentry and construction works. CMOG also responds in disaster relief operations, medical and dental missions, livelihood projects and trainings and other community outreach programs,” said Cabunoc.