Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
07 February 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the Change of Command Ceremony and Testimonial Review in honor of retiring Philippine Army (PA) Commanding General Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes held in Taguig City.
Acknowledging his work and dedication in the service of the nation, President Aquino imparted in his speech a few of the positive reforms that the Army had gone through under Lt. Gen. Coballes’ leadership, including the implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap and the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.
“Madalas nga po siyang madestino noon sa Mindanao, kaya’t batid niyang hindi sapat na matalo lang ang mga kalaban sa bakbakan. Ang lalong mahalaga: maabot ang pangmatagalang kapayapaan kung saan panalo ang bawat Pilipino,” President Aquino said.
The President also expressed his admiration to incoming PA Commanding General Maj. Gen. Hermando Iriberri. As the 503rd Infantry Brigade Commander, his unit supervised the peaceful elections in the province of Abra last year.
“Bilang bagong pinuno, umaasa akong pambihirang lakas, disiplina at dedikasyon din ang ibubuhos mo upang ipagpatuloy ang transpormasyon ng Hukbong Katihan,” the Commander-in-Chief said.
Lt. Gen. Coballes is known for leading battles over Islamic conflicts in the country. He is a recipient of various awards such as the Distinguished Service Star, Distinguished Conduct Star and Military Merit Medals.
Maj. Gen. Iriberri, on the other hand, is the current commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija and the former spokesperson of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.