Unit Seal and Description/Symbolism (NHCP approved of available)

VALIANT – signifies bravery and courage in the struggle for freedom.

FIVE STARS – indicates that the unit is organic to the 5th inf div.

GREEN – represents the color of the Phil Army.

YELLOW – stands for crisis, ranging from natural and manmade disasters to threats of wars, of which the brigade is always ready and capable to address.

LAUREL – symbolizes, honor, fame and constant victory.



The 501st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, PA was provisionally activated as the 1St Infantry Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division on 15 May 1981 pursuant to section II, GO nr 7, H5ID, PA dated 03 Jun 1981. The nucleus of its personnel was taken from Task Force “KAISA”, which was deactivated by virtue of the same order. Its mission was to command, control and supervise the tactical operations of the Infantry Battalions and other units under its OPCON, as embodied in TOE A7-3. Its Headquarters was initially based at Camp Upi, Gamu, Isabela now Camp Melchor F Dela Cruz – the Headquarters of the 5th Infantry Division.

The activation of the Brigade was part of the elevation of 5th Infantry Brigade (Separate) into a regular Division to stabilize the continuing unrest in the region particularly, in the Cagayan Valley. Initially, it had only one (1) officer, nineteen (19) EP, one (1) draftee and three (3) First Class Trainees; or a total of twenty four (24) personnel.

It was renamed as the 21st Infantry Brigade, 3ID, PA pursuant to Section II General Orders Nr 181, HPA effective 01 July 1986 dated 08 July 1986. A week later, it was back to its original name as the 1st Infantry Brigade per radio message from CG 5ID, PA disregarding the unit’s re-designation.

On 15 April 1988, the 1st Infantry Brigade was renamed as the 501st Infantry Brigade pursuant to General Orders Nr 199, HPA dated 20 April 1988.

501st Infantry Brigade is stationed at Brgy Calanan Tabuk Kalinga with three (3) OPCON maneuver Battalions namely 21st Infantry (Invincible) Battalion, 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion and 86th Infantry (Highlander) Battalion. The Brigade continues with its Mission to “conduct ISO and support operations in the Provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet including Baguio City to win the peace in order to create an avenue for economic development”.

Today, the 501st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army was pulled-out from Luzon area and redeployed to Sulu Province effective 15 September 2014.

The brigade new Main Command Post (MCP) at Sitio Ibulao, Brgy Baguingue, Kiangan, Ifugao and Advanced Command Post (ACP) at Sitio Tubo, Brgy Sapid, Mankayan, Benguet with two (2) OPCON maneuver Battalions namely 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion and 50th Infantry (Defender) Battalion. The Brigade continues with its Mission to “conducts IPSO to defeat KLG- MONTES, KLG-MARCO and SPP IFUGAO all of ICRC before the end of December 2014 in order to facilitate and sustain socio-economic development in the provinces of Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, the three (3) municipalities of Ilocos Sur namely; Cervantes, Quirino and San Emilio, and the municipality of Tubo, Abra.”.




On 11 Dec 1981, Higher Headquarters issued LOI 01/81 (NAPIGSA), tasking the Brigade to conduct security operations in its area of responsibility effective 01 January 1982.  This AOR covered the following:

  1. Eastern Abra and parts of Ilocos Sur (east of Abra river)
  2. Benguet; Mountain Province (east of Kayapa-Bukod-Kabayan highway)
  3. Kalinga-Apayao excluding the municipalities of Flora, Kabugao, Calanasan, Pudtol, Luna and Sta Marcela
  4. Ifugao
  5. Nueva Vizcaya (west of Bintawan river to Natuno river and Sta Cruz river, North of Aritao-Pingkian road) and;
  6. The municipalities of Burgos, Mallig, Roxas, Aurora, San Manuel, Quezon, Quirino, Magsaysay, Sto Tomas and Sta Maria in Isabela

During the period, the following were placed under the Unit’s OPCON effective 01 Jan 82:17IB, 21IB, 48IB, KACC (-), 186 PC Coy, MPCC, ICC, 125 PC Coy, 118 PC Coy and 190 PC Coy.  Task force “151” was activated by the Brigade to oversee the conduct of operations, effective 10 Jan 81, with COLONEL CRISTINO R PIOL FA (GSC) PA as Task Force Commander. The offensive operations in Pasil and Tinglayan of Kalinga-Apayao and in the tri-boundary of Abra, Kalinga-Apayao and Mt. Province, have caused considerable setbacks to the insurgent’s operational activities.  As a result, the road from Tinglayan in Kalinga-Apayao to Sadanga, Mt Province (a stretch of 33 kms) which was previously closed to traffic due to insurgent activities, was wrested back to government control.

In 1983, operations “DRAGNET I” was launched and directed primarily on CT-affected barangays in the eastern side of Cagayan (municipalities of Baggao, Alcala, Gattaran, Lallo, Buguey, Sta Teresita and Gonzaga) and in the hinterlands of Kalinga-Apayao. This operations utilized small unit combat operations as a primary tool in tracking down the insurgents’ SYP formations. As a result, the Brigade registered 35 encounters against the CPP/NPA while 18 raids/harassment/ambuscades were initiated by the CTs.

In 1984, the Unit continuously launched tactical operations coupled with CMO, which resulted to the destruction/neutralization of insurgent’s forces, sanctuaries and production bases within the AOR.  The employment of two (2) Scout Ranger companies further enhanced the conduct of combat operations.  Small unit combat operations were initiated, which resulted to 68 encounters with the enemy. Marijuana plantations were also discovered by operating troops in Tinglayan, Kalinga.  Marijuana was being grown by the insurgents to generate funds for the purchase of arms, ammunition and other supplies.  Ten (10) marijuana plantation sites were discovered by the operating units in the mountain slopes of Brgys Bugnay, Buscalan, Dananao, Basao and Botbot.  An estimated 6,000 fully grown marijuana plants and 3,000 seedlings were uprooted and burned.  Some 800 kilos of dried marijuana leaves/buds was confiscated and destroyed.    A series of NPA initiated attacks against isolated military detachments and government installations and ambuscades on troop movements were quite successful. These inflicted losses on lives, firearms and equipment.

In 1985, some parts of eastern Apayao and Eastern Cagayan (excluding the municipalities of Gattaran and Eastern Baggao, which were turned over to PC RECOM 2) were included in the AOR of the Brigade. 

One of the significant incidents that transpired in 1986 was the ambush of CO, 1/5 Brigade, COL THELMO Y CUNANAN INF (GSC) PA, on 241735 April 1986 in Brgy Casicalan Norte, Gattaran, Cagayan. This was followed by three (3) successful ambuscades on elements of 17IB on 30 April 1988 in Brgys Iringan, Allacapan in Cagayan and Brgys Caroronan and Bangan of Aparri. 

SOT was introduced into our campaign in 1988. This new concept brought the  neutralization of enemy political infrastructures in numerous influenced Brgys within the AOR such as those in Ipil, Magrafil and San Francisco of the municipality of Gonzaga; and the voluntary surrender of 630 CT party members, MB’s and SMAs.  SOT operations launched on 16 April 1988 in five (5) influenced Brgys of San Pablo, Isabela also resulted to the voluntary surrender of 636 CT hardcore sympathizers leading to the neutralization of a CPP/NPA political machinery thereat. 

In 1989, the Brigade implemented “OPLAN WALLOP”, employing the Triad concept of operations and Strategy of Gradual Constriction, in consonance with AFP Campaign Plan LAMBAT BITAG.   During this Campaign, the Unit has organized, trained and equipped fourteen (14) CAA Companies in Cagayan and Isabela. The unit started shifting its maneuvering forces West of Cagayan River, towards the bases of the enemy in Zinundungan Valley, Paco Valley and Marag Valley.  Efforts of 17IB were directed towards Zinundungan Valley; while, 54IB concentrated in Marag Valley – in preparation for the final offensive towards the main CT base in Paco Valley. The three (3) Cagayan CAA Companies (2nd, 5th and 6th) controlled by 17IB in Eastern Cagayan were turned-over to the Cagayan Provincial Command to lessen its (17IB) burden as a maneuver force.  The series of combat operations conducted have resulted to 88 encounters, 156 enemy killed, 26 wounded, and 111 assorted FAs were recovered. Government troops; however,  suffered 39 KIA, 27 WIA and a lost 35 FAs, 1 URC 60IF and 1 ICOM HH radio to the enemy. SOT operations also yielded the voluntary surrender of 6,379 CT sympathizers/supporters who pledged their allegiance in support to the programs of the government.

On March 1989, one (1) company of 514 ECB arrived in the AOR to construct a seventy six (76) km road from Brgy Peru to Brgy Sicalao of Lasam. The 2SFCo and two (2) tubes of 105MM How were placed under the Brigade’s OPCON to secure the construction.

(1990 – 1999) 

In CY-90, the implementation of Campaign Plan “WALLOP” was revitalized.  With the conduct of sustained combat operations in Zinundungan Valley. Two (2) Companies of 17IB, one (1) Company of 21IB, one (1) Company of 54IB, the 2SFCo, one (1) company of 54ECB, two (2) Sections “C” Btry, 2FAB and one (1) Section 2LAB, PALAR were employed for the mission.

During the period, 54 major operations, 249 minor operations and 6,355 small unit operations were registered.  This resulted to 161 enemy killed and 120 wounded, the recovery of five (5) HPFAs and two (2) handheld ICOM radios; the apprehension of five (5) CT regulars; and the surrender of 82 NPA regulars and 55 NDF personnel.  Government forces suffered 37 KIA and 73 WIA. SOT operations conducted by in Allacapan, Lasam and Gattaran complex of Cagayan by 17IB and at Quezon, Isabela and at Sto Niño, Cagayan by 21IB has resulted to the voluntary surrender of 5,002 NDF personnel and 97 assorted FAs.

On 211035 February 1990, the shadow government at Brgy Sicalao, Lasam, Cagayan was uncovered which led to the apprehension of the designated Governor, JOVITO DOMINGO AKA JONG; designated Mayor DOMINADOR CALUMAG AKA HELBON, designated Vice Mayor WALTER UMBRERO AKA WENDY, and 60 other key CT personalities. 

During the CY-91, the Brigade intensified its campaign in the Northwestern and Northeastern portions of Cagayan; and Upper Kalinga and Lower Apayao. It now had  the 21IB, 54IB, 65IB, 48IB, 17IB, 5SRCo, FSRR, SROC, SEG HPA, SFOC Class 01-91, PNP Cagayan and Kalinga-Apayao under its Operational Control. A total of 74 major operations, 705 minor operations and 11,068 small unit operations were recorded; which resulted to 126 government initiated encounters as against 73 enemy initiated. These encounters further resulted 112 KIA and 98 WIA on the government side. On the enemy side, 111 were killed, 15 were wounded; 39 were captured, and 23 surrendered.  Government troops recovered 47 FAs, and lost 103 to the enemy. One (1) M151 jeep and one (1) M35 truck were destroyed by landmines. Other losses were the following: one (1) URC 187, one (1) PRC 77, two (2) URC 773, one (1) M60 LMG, one (1) 60MM Mortar and 19 rds ammo mortar.  Meanwhile, SOT operations resulted to the clearing of 76 Brgys, and the surrender of 3,005 CT supporters and sympathizers.

From the Triad operations in 1992, exploits of gallantry during the capture of Hills 511, 522 and Hill 268 in Puguin, Conner, Apayao are still vivid in the minds of our soldiers who participated in the campaign. Operating troops later discovered 81 interconnected bunkers with a depth of 7 feet and width of 2 meters; and with running trenches on Hill 268.  After a week of continuous firefight, 54IB captured Mt. 511 on 141115 Jan 92 and discovered 17 bunkers, 15 bomb shelters linked by concealed running trenches ranging from 10 to 15 meters long, 3 feet wide and 5 feet deep.  With the occupation of Hill 511, one (1) Company of students from the 5DTU who were undergoing SROC, relieved-in-place elems of 54IB who were tasked to assault Hill 522. Operational responsibility over Puguin was later given to 54IB.

On 251429 Jan 1992, 54IB captured Hill 522 with the aid of Close Air Support and Howitzer fires.  Operating troops discovered 25 bunkers that can accommodate at least 50 CTs in the area.

On 21 Feb 1992, SR Class 103, the Main Effort, was inserted by air in Amacian, Pinukpuk to clear Mabiga Proper. 45IB and 54IB were tasked as Supporting Effort.  After a series of encounters, Mabiga Proper was finally freed from the clutches of the insurgents. 

On 25 April 1992, the capture of Mabaca-Buaya in Balbalan, Kalinga was added to the mission of our operating troops.  48IB was tasked to clear the barangays in the municipal boundary of Balbalan and Pinukpuk.  45IB, as ME, was tasked to clear Mabaca-Buaya complex.  54IB launched SOT operations in Mabiga and gained grounds in favor of the government.

On 29 Oct 92, SFOC Class 68 was placed under the OPCON of the Brigade as Main Effort for the tactical operations in the south of Pinukpuk, and in Mabaca-Buaya complex.    

From 26 Nov 91 to 31 Dec 92; 116 major operations, 508 minor operations, 7,329 small unit operations were conducted. These resulted to 157 government-initiated, and  52 enemy-initiated encounters. These encounters resulted to: 39 KIA and 189 WIA on the government side, killing of 190 and wounding of 82 on the enemy side;  recovery of 73 firearms and 130 landmines; 6 firearms lost; capture of 34 CTs; and the surrender of 70 others.

On 15 Jan 93, H5ID issued “OPLAN PAGKAKAISA”, annexing portions of the Mallig Plains in Isabela to the AOR of the Brigade.  In the realignment that took place, 45IB was given operational control of the towns of Sta Maria, Quezon, Sto Tomas, Delfin Albano, Mallig and Quirino of Isabela and Enrile of Cagayan; and the Administrative and Operational Control of all CAA units in the area.  54IB was tasked to continue combat and SOT operations in affected areas of Tabuk; while, Pinukpuk and northern Balbalan was taken over by 48IB.  1SFCo and 2SFCo continued to support the tactical operations of maneuver Battalions.

That year, the Brigade conducted 27 major operations, 384 minor operations, and 3,245 small unit operations. These resulted to 63 government initiated encounters with 17 KIA and 32 WIA on the government side; 45 killed and 37 wounded on the enemy side;  the recovery of 50 HPFAs, 29 LPFAs, 46 landmines, one fragmentation grenade, three (3) rifle grenades, and 1 ICOM HH radio; capture of thirteen (13) CTs, and the surrender of 198.  Our troops lost seven (7) HPFAs to the enemy.

Our SOT operations also resulted to the clearing of 35 influenced barangays; the surrender of 6 NPA regulars, 46 MB/RMB members, 282 NDF/SMA members, and 1,028 supporters/sympathizers; and the recovery of two (2) HPFAs and 3 LPFAs.

In 1994, the 501 Brigade issued and implemented OPLANs “Aliwa Cuatro-Palugit”, “Aliwa Cuatro-Palugit Alfa” and “LBT Alfa – LTA Uno”. These aimed to deliver the final offensive blow against remaining enemy structures in Poswoy-Ab-abaan-Ligayan-Mt Maliang complexes in Pinukpuk and Balbalan, Kalinga. The secondary effort was concentrated along the political boundary of Cagayan and Kalinga-Apayao – specifically Balong of Tabuk, Pinococ of Pinukpuk, and Kinama of Rizal in Kalinga-Apayao and San Luis of Tuao, Cagayan.

During the period, 45 major operations, 254 minor operations, 7,899 small unit operations were conducted, which resulted to 41 government-initiated encounters with 12 KIA, 15 WIA on the government side, 29 killed and 12 wounded on the enemy side, capture of 17 CTs; surrender of 66 CT personalities with 2 HPFAs; and the recovery of 22 HPFAs, 12 LPFAs and 24 landmines. Our SOT operations resulted to the surrender of 12 CTs with 8 HPFAs and one (1) LPFA.

48IB and 54IB were also tapped to support the major offensive operations of 503 Brigade in Conner, Apayao. This resulted to the recovery of 29 HPFAs, three (3) 60MM mortars and 10 other crew-served weapons.

On environmental protection, a total of 12,245 board feet of illegally-sawn lumber were intercepted and confiscated in Brgy Bagumbayan, Tabuk, Kalinga-Apayao; Sta Barbara, Iguig, Cagayan and Minagbag, Quezon, Isabela.

Triad Operations in 1995 resulted to the following: 11 enemy killed, 5 wounded, 2 captured and 23 surrendered; recovery of 54 HPFAs, 32 LPFAs, 72 landmines, 36 ICOM HH radios, 9 VHF radio telephones, 2 Handy Walky radios, 5 Racal/60IF radios, 3 URC 187 radios, 2 Kenwood base radios and 5 transistorized radios.  The Brigade suffered five (5) KIA and four (4) WIA and lost five (5) LPFAs in these operations. Operating troops also uncovered seven (7) CT arms caches through the exploitation and utilization of rebel returnees in Kalinga and Marag Valley.

In CY-96, the Brigade conceptualized OPLAN “Karaid”, a people oriented approach to sustain the consolidation phase and economic development initiatives of its campaign. This was a shift from tactical to development activities. The campaign resulted to the surrender of 21 CTs, capture of 4, 1 killed and 2 wounded.  The unit also recovered 21 HPFAs and 12 LPFAs, 4 ICOM HH radios and 8 improvised landmines.  The Brigade suffered 1 KIA and 1 WIA during armed engagements with the enemy.

(2000 – 2004)

The overall conduct of ISO by the Brigade during the calendar year 2000, had earned much success following the operational strategy of Campaign Plan “BALANGAI” I. TRIAD operations conducted within the AOR resulted to the discovery and eventual destruction of five (5) enemy camps; the recovery of sixteen (16) HPFAs, thirteen (13) LPFAs, six (6) improvised hand grenades, five (5) combat packs, three (3) pairs of BDA uniforms, and voluminous subversive documents; the capture of two (2) DT personalities; as well as, the surrender of nineteen (19).  It must be noted that the results of the tactical interrogation of these captured and surrendered DTs provided the Brigade some vital information on the current disposition as well as the strategy and tactics of the enemy operating within the AOR.

Significantly, one of the Brigade-directed operations (Bde OPORD 03-2001) yielded one (1) key DT personality – Thelma BUTAG y CUARESMA AKA LYN/SALLY/AIKA/MINI, a medical officer of SYP2 of Danilo Ben Front (Formerly  SECOM “LAUD”), CVRPC – who was captured by the operating elements of the 41IB at So Tacwelan, Brgy Abariongan Uneg, Sto Niño, Cagayan on 311330 Mar 01.  On 13 Jun  01, the same Battalion effected the surrender of Nicasio CULABAN y GAAYON AKA ANTON/DEXTER/OMENG and his party wife Luzviminda AGCAOILI AKA LANI/GELMAR/BIEN, S4 and medical officer; respectively, of the Filomena  Asuncion Front operating in Isabela Province.  Another successful operation led to the capture of five (5) personalities of the SYP1 of Danilo Ben Front, CVRC, namely:  Orlando DURWIN @ PEPE (wounded), Arturo TADEO @ TIKYO (wounded), Jonathan TABBAL @ BERT, Mayleen SALVADOR @ GIGI, and Maricel Nell REMON @ NIEVA/ANGIE, after a brief encounter between the said DT group and elements of 41IB at So Bakkul, Brgy Abariongan Uneg, Sto Niño, Cagayan on 23 Jul 01.  These CTs; however, went back to the hills after bail was posted in the courts by their legal front organizations.  

It is interesting to note that, as a result of the re-sectoring of Battalion AORs, as conceptualized in the Brigade OPLAN “LIBRA” which implemented 5ID OPLAN “RIPOOGEN”, the DTs were forced to realign their IPO priorities in northern Kalinga and make some operational adjustments within the Zinundungan Valley complex.

In fact, the miss-encounter between two (2) DT groups on 241400 May 01 in the vicinity of western Poswoy in Balbalan town, which resulted to the wounding of a CT, can be attributed to the initial “confusion” over the redrawn operational boundaries brought about by the re-sectoring.

In CY-02, TRIAD operations resulted to the discovery and eventual destruction of ten (10) enemy camps, recovery of three (3) enemy arms caches; seven (7) govt-initiated engagements that resulted to the killing of four (4) CTs and wounding of six (6) others; the recovery of thirteen (13) HPFAs, ten (10) LPFAs, one (1) sachet of shabu, assorted types of ammunition, one (1) Acer Laptop computer, two (2) Karaoke players, two (2) 12-volt batteries, one (1) bag of cartridges for Karaoke, two (2) Air guns, two (2) large boxes of explosives, forty-five (45) blasting caps, one tarpaulin tent, propaganda materials, voluminous subversive documents and medical/dental equipment;  the surrender of twenty five (25) CTs and capture of four (4) others; eradication of one (1) hectare of marijuana plants and confiscation of 13 kilos dried marijuana leaves.

In CY 2003, the Unit conducted 15 Brigade-directed operations,  94 Battalion-size operations, 196 company-size operations, 398 platoon-size operations, 8,914 small unit operations, and  4,317 resource control operations. 

Aside from these, the Brigade also conducted 4 security operations in connection with the visit of Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and other VIP’s in the AOR.

These combat operations led to the recovery of 11 HPFAs and 6 LPFAs and neutralization of 23 CTs (4) captured and 19 surrendered). These also resulted to the   seizure of 3 CT camps and the recovery of assorted ammunitions ( 55 rds  M14, 8 rds Garand, 10 rds Carbine, 5 rds 60mm mortar, 2 rds 81mm mortar 5 rds cal .38 and 4 rds HM shotgun).

SOT operations resulted to the neutralization of 62 enemy supporters, sympathizers, activists and party members and the clearing of 3 barangays in Cagayan from enemy influence.

For the 1st Semester of CY-04, the Unit conducted the following combat operations: 14 Brigade-directed, 34 Battalion-sized, 98 company-sized, 191 platoon-sized, 1,849 small unit patrols, and 368 resource control operations.

In synergy with intelligence and SOT, these combat operations led to the recovery of 4 high powered and 5 low powered firearms and the neutralization of 14 CTs (3 killed, 4 surrendered and 7 captured). These figures exclude 7 HPFAs and 7 LPFAs recovered during the conduct of checkpoints against Partisan armed Groups and lawless elements in the AOR. These operations also resulted to the recovery of numerous assorted ammunition, 1 dynamo, 1 trigger housing assembly for an M14 rifle, 1 M14 rifle magazine, 1 AK 47 magazine, 2 hand grenades  and subversive documents.

Our operations; however, also resulted to the KIA of 7 (6 EP & 1 CAA) government troops, the wounding of 6 (3 EP & 3 CAA) and the loss of one M16 rifle and 2 handheld radios. We also lost 29 HPFAs and one tactical radio set during the raid of two CAA detachments. The following are the details of the said incidents:

On 010645 February 04, one section of BCoy, 17IB led by Ssg Bautista encountered more or less 30 CTs under Communist Terrorist Leader Jose Asco at vicinity hill 283 GC 315224, Barangay Illuru, Rizal, Cagayan.  The 30-minute firefight resulted to the death of six (6) government troops, namely:  Ssg Armando B Bautista PA, Ssg Danilo P Paraguison PA, Sgt Patricio U Licudan PA, Cpl Gervacio B Egipto PA, Pfc Vicente P Valdez PA and CAA Justo M Welba. Two others were also wounded during the incident:  Ssg Buenaventura R Coloma PA and Pfc Roger Paraguison.  One (1) M16 rifle with serial number 2444425, 2 Motorola Handheld radio, 4 long and 5 short magazines of M16 were lost to the enemy.

On 060900 February 04, the Limos Patrol Base of Echo Company, 77th Infantry (Cadre) Battalion was attacked by more or less 20 fully armed Communist Terrorists. Government troops abandoned the detachment after 30 minutes of firefight that resulted to the burning of the detachment, and the loss of thirteen (13) Cal 7.62mm M14 rifles and one (1) Cal 30 M1 Garand rifle. Two (2) CAA personnel were wounded during the incident, namely: Fred Tudao and Florencio Labutan.

On 281205 February 04, the Poswoy Detachment of Echo Company, 77IB; stationed at Brgy Poswoy, Balbalan, Kalinga; which is under the operational control of 21st Infantry Battalion, was attacked by an estimated 60 fully armed Communist Terrorists. The three-hour firefight resulted to the wounding of two (2) on the government side: Pfc Roderick Ganongan and CAA Joseph Caldingon. This also resulted to the loss of seven (7) M14 rifles, seven (7) Garand rifles and one (1) URC 187 radio set.

Our troops also dealt a significant setback on the enemy organization when, on 021400 April 04, elements of 17IB, MIG2, RIID PRO2, DIU & CAG PPO encountered more or less nine (9) communist terrorists at vicinity Barangay Calaogan, Piat, Cagayan. This resulted to the capture of three (3) top communist terrorist leaders identified as CRISTINA MIGUEL-GARCIA AKA SENYANG, the Secretary of the Northern Front Committee; LOLITA RAZA AKA LANLAN, the Assistant Secretary of the Northern Front Committee; and MANNY DE GUZMAN AKA DEKDEK. Recovered from their possession was one (1) Cal .38 revolver with defaced serial number, ninety three (93) rounds of Cal 7.62,  two (2) hand grenades and voluminous subversive documents.

(2009 – 2013)

The implementation of CAMPLAN CENTRAL HIGHLAND, H5ID on January 2009 called for the re alignment of Brigade AOR.  501st Infantry Brigade assumed ISO responsibility over the provinces of Ifugao, Northern Municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya, Municipalities of Conner and Kabugao of Apayao and Mt Province.  In effect ISO responsibility over the province of Isabela, Cagayan and the rest of Apayao were handed over to 502nd Infantry Brigade.  OPCON of 17th Infantry Battalion to the Brigade was terminated however 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion led by LTC ADERITO NAVATA INF (GSC) PA who just finished its tour of duty in central Mindanao was placed OPCON to the Brigade.

On 271035 January 2010, Alpha Company, 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion under 1LT VICTOR P LEOPOLDO (INF) PA, while conducting combat operations at vicinity Mt Bato, 51QTU 785983, Mainit Complex (Hill 840), Bontoc, Mt Province encountered more or less twenty (20) fully armed CTs of KLG MARCO under terrorist leader Lupito Wigit @ Dawala/Tumbas that resulted to Killed-In-Action of Cpl Napoleon L Ramirez (Inf) PA, Pfc Joseph Casem (Inf) PA, Pfc Velasco B Mayao (Inf) PA, Pfc Joey A Corpuz (Inf) PA, Pfc Camilo A Abad (Inf) PA, Wounded-In-Action of Pfc Salvador I Villanueva (Inf) PA and losses of One (1) M16A1 Rifle and assorted war fighting equipment.

On 040745 February 2010, Bravo Company, 21st Infantry (Invincible) Battalion under 1LT ESPINAS, 1LT APDUHAN and 2LT LOPEZ, while conducting combat operations at Mabacca Complex, Balbalan encountered MOL twenty (20) FACTs led by  CT Leader Jovencio Tangbawan  @ DRICK of KLG -BAGGAS, ICRC at vicinity outskirt of Sitio Balala, 51Q UV077468, Brgy Mabaca, Balbalan, Kalinga that resulted the Killed-In-Action of the following namely:      Pfc Ricarte A Pagala Jr 847933 (Inf) PA, Pfc Jhonny F Tongdo Jr 871673 (Inf) PA, Pvt Chokowen D Ngaya-an 876785 (Inf) PA and the Wounded-In-Action of Pfc Jeffrey M Aganon 863317(Inf) PA and Pfc Nicanor P Canceran Jr 862239 (Inf) PA. Losses of 2 assorted HPFAs and assorted war fighting equipment.

On 091145 Jul 10, Squad (-) of 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company under 1LT PUNIO was ambushed while traversing the national road from Brgy Talubin to Poblacion, Bontoc, MP by undetermined number of LTs under Arthur Talastas  @Libre/Layden of Tm 4, ECL, KLG Marco, ICRC at vicinity So Chawer (51Q TU 862874), Brgy Samoki Bontoc, Mountain Province that resulted to Killed-In-Action of the following namely: 1LT LITO H PUNIO 0-136711 (INF) PA, Sgt Melchor Q Castro 817453 (Inf) PA, Cornelio N Balmes 827573 (Inf) PA, Pfc Camilo T Topinio 847779 (Inf) PA, Pfc Windel C Gazzingan 847798 (Inf) PA,  Pfc James F Tio-An 862333 (Inf) PA, Pfc Anthony T Bunagan 863312 (Inf) PA. Losses of 6 assorted HPFAs and assorted war fighting equipment.                           

On 25 August 2010, 86th Infantry Battalion, a newly organized battalion under the command LTC ERNESTO M SIMON INF (GSC) PA was placed OPCON to the Brigade.  H5ID directed that the Battalion area of operation will be Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya Provinces.

On September 2010, Southern Municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya except Alfonso Castaneda were added to the 501st Brigade Area of Responsibility. In line with the implementation of the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan replacing OPLAN Bantay Laya II on 01 January 2011, H5ID implemented CAMPLAN PAGKAKAISA which made a series of adjustment to the 501st Infantry Brigade ISO campaign.  Benguet Province was added to the 501st Brigade AOR. 5th CMO Battalion (-) led by COL MAGUNDADAYAO was placed OPCON to the Brigade and was tasked to conduct Bayanihan white area activities in Benguet, Baguio City, Solano NV and Bontoc Mt Province.

On 261035 February 2011, One (1) Platoon, Alpha Company, 86th Infantry (Highlander) Battalion under 2LT MARK ANTHONY C BERNARDINO (INF) PA while conducting combat/clearing operations at designated objective encountered number of CT’s believed to be led by CTL Casamiro Binayon at vicinity 51Q TU 992409 that resulted the Killed-In-Action of the following: Cpl Normandy F Maravilla 832815 (Inf) PA, Pvt Norie S Cohena 887260 (Inf) PA,and Pvt Wendell A Clemente Jr 887269. The Wounded-In-Action of Pfc John Paul C Gorospe 871572 (Inf) PA, Pvt Jonel S Canabang 887278 (Inf) PA, Pvt Alfredo D Liclican 887409 (Inf) PA and Pvt Frank G Liw-agan 887262 (Inf) PA

On 120930 Nov 2011, 1st Platoon of Alpha Company, 21st Infantry (Invincible) Battalion under 2LT JOHN MICHAEL S JAMERO 0-16478 (INF) PA while clearing Dao-angan – Guisang Road was ambushed by MOL 15 FACTs of SYP3, KLG-Baggas, ICRC under unknown leader at vicinity 51Q UV1542635260 Brgy Dao-angan, Balbalan, Kalinga that resulted to two (2) KIA from the government side Cpl Jeffrey C Delos Santos 877889 (Inf) PA and Pfc Micholle L Alipio 863362 (Inf) PA; and losses of one (1) M16 with M203.

During the re-training of the 17th Infantry (DO or DIE) Battalion from 01 April to 30 May 2013 in order to refresh and enhance the skills of individual soldiers and evaluate the technical and tactical proficiency, operational effectiveness and overall combat capability of the battalion. 5ID issued Operational Directive D3-0303-01-2013 dated 03 March 2013 that OPCON status of 21st Infantry (INVINCIBLE) Battalion is by terminated and displace Kalinga to occupy Cagayan Valley and parts of Apayao to fill in the vacuum vacated by the 17th Infantry (DO or DIE) Battalion.

On 03 March 2013, 51st DRC was deployed to Kalinga and was placed OPCON to this unit and One (1) platoon of 53rd DRC is also placed OPCON on 20 March 2013.

In order to continue its IPSO in the Province of Kalinga vacated by the 21st Infantry (INVINCIBLE) Battalion, the unit activated TG “KALAPAY” on 03 May 2013 to handle IPSO responsibility over the Provinces of Apayao and Kalinga under the command of LTC JESUS C PENULLAR (INF) PA with 51st and One (1) Platoon of 53rd Division Reconnaissance Companies and Echo Company, 77th Infantry (CADRE) Battalion and was de-activated effective 16 June 2013 and subsequently upon completion of the 17th Infantry (DO or DIE) Battalion was OPCON effective same date.

During the May 2013 National Election, On 090810 May 2013, One squad (+) of HHSVCo, 17th Infantry (Do or Die) Battalion under CPT DOMINADOR T TARANZA III (INF) for providing security escort mission to the PCOS machines while passing Brgy Bagumbayan, Tabuk City, Kalinga were ambushed by more or less thirty (30) FALCs led by CTL Rudy Daguitan @PINPIN and Romeo Ammugawen @DACDAC at vicinity 51QUV 139265 So. Patiking, Brgy Bagumbayan, Tabuk, Kalinga that resulted to the Killed-In-Action of Cpl Allen P Pattaguan 847804 (AGS) PA and Cpl Wilfredo C Bacacao 835808 (Inf) PA. The Wounded-In-Action of Tsg Constante V Alupani 744474 (Inf) PA,Tsg Herminigildo B Vergara 775854 (OS) PA, Pfc Delfin Goyagoy 835842 (Inf) PA, SSg Melanio B Zalun 790065 (SC) PA, SSg Federico C dela Cuesta 775854 (OS) PA and SSg Michael C Adducul 804904 (FA) PA ; and the missing of One (1) M16 Rifle with SN 022685.

On 150300H May 2013, One (1) platoon of Bcoy, 17IB with 24 EP under 2LT BOHOL encountered undetermined number of FALTs at GC 197368, Sitio Sidog, Brgy Limos, Pinukpuk, Kalinga while on their way to Allaguia CAA Detachment after the conduct of area security mission during the National Election 2013 that resulted to the Wounded-In-Action of Sgt Eduardo B Cabiliza 832760 (Inf) PA, Cpl Roldan M Viray 856912 (Inf) PA and PFC Jeffrey P Langcay 878081 (Inf) PA.

On 020520 June 2013, Scout Pltn, HHSVCo, 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion under 2LT BARRIO (INF) PA while conducting combat operations implementing OPORD 10-13 at vicinity 51QTU-252871 Brgy Butac, Aguinaldo, Ifugao encountered more or less twenty (20) fully armed LC’s of KLG MARCO, ICRC that resulted to the killing of terrorist leader ArtosTalastas @ Libre/Layden and recovery of 6 HPFAs and assorted war materials

In consonance with the 5ID CAMPLAN “TIN-NULONG, the unit formulated FRAG-O 03 to 501BDE Campaign Plan “SINARANAY” dated 060001H June 2013. Effective 06 June 2013 the Unit assume IPSO responsibility over the provinces of Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, and the three eastern municipalities (NatonIn, Barlig, and Paracelis) of Mountain Province confronting NF, KR-HSL, KLG-Baggas ICRC, ECL TM4 of KLG-Marco and SPP-Ifugao. During this campaign, the Brigade’s AO remains manageable as the NPA Remnants are constantly on the move, off balanced and has been dealt with tactical setbacks. 

The significant accomplishments of the Unit during the period were the killing of 6 regular CTs, Captured of 8 and the surrender of 86 NPA Remnants. On firearms, the Unit gained for about 85 HPFAs and 34 LPFAs.

(2014 to date)

To revitalize its Internal Peace and Security Operations (IPSO), the 5th Infantry Division recently directed the realignment of brigade areas of responsibilities within Northern Luzon as embodied in its Operational Directive #09-01-2014-01 last 09 January 2014. With this directive, 501st Bde now covers the provinces of Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, the three (3) municipalities of Ilocos Sur namely; Cervantes, Quirino and San Emilio, and the municipality of Tubo, Abra.

With this development, 501st Bde moved its Main Command Post (MCP) at Brgy Baguingue, Kiangan, Ifugao and established its Advance Command Post (ACP) at Brgy Tubo, Mankayan, Benguet. The current location of 501st Bde MCP and ACP provides its command group the ability to better exercise command and control of all OPCON units under it. Likewise, both locations will enable the command group to influence the situation within its AOR and easily coordinate inter-agency operations.

Within its AOR, the brigade now confronts two (2) KLGs and One (1) SPP all operating under the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Command of the CPP/NPA/NDF.


ASG Campaign

With the escalation of hostilities in the Island of Sulu and with the unprecedented increased of kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf targeting foreign nationals and even locals, 501BDE was deployed for the first time in Mindanao area. The brigade under Col Noel S Clement led the unit and arrived in Jolo, Sulu on 30 September 2014. The unit replaced 1st Marine Brigade in Camp Bud Datu, Brgy Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu and this was also the first time that an army unit was involved in the campaign against ASG in Sulu since the pull-out of all army units in the Island Province way back 2008.

On 10 October 2014, in a simple ceremony at Camp Bud Datu and without any presiding officer, COL NOEL S CLEMENT relinquished his post to BGEN ALAN R ARROJADO while at the same time, COL NOEL S CLEMENT replaced BGEN ARROJADO in 602nd BDE, in Central Mindanao. In the same manner, being the most senior Brigade Commander in the province, BGEN ARROJADO was also designated as the Commander of Joint Task Group Sulu which has operational control of all military units deployed and stationed in Sulu.

The brigade had two (2) OPCON Battalions wherein 35th Infantry “MAKAMANDAG” Battalion established its Battalion Hqs at ATO Complex, Brgy Liang, Patikul, Sulu addressing west of Patikul, Municipalities of Jolo, north of Indanan, northeast of Talipao, and Island Municipalities of Panglima Tahil and Pangutaran, while 32nd Infantry “DAREDEVIL” Battalion established its Battalion Hqs in Brgy Bondon, Patikul, Sulu taking charge east of Patikul, Municipalities of Panamao, Panglima Estino, Kalingalang Caluang, Luuk, Omar, and Island Municipality of Tongkil. The irony of which is that the unit has no OPCON Battalions organic to 5th ID. To support the brigade in its campaign, 1st Scout Ranger Battalion and 16th Special Forces Company were placed OPCON to Joint Task Group Sulu, which were further placed OPCON/TACON to 501st BDE in most cases of operations.

The most significant accomplishment for the year were the rescue of Swiss KV Lorenzo Vinceguerra in Brgy Bud Bunga, Talipao by 1st Scout Ranger Battalion with the support of 32nd Infantry Battalion and 35th Infantry Battalion, the neutralization of ASG Sub Leader Sihata Latip in the area of Parang by Joint elements of JSOG and with the support of 1st SRB, 32nd IB, and 35th IB, and the recovery of eighteen (18) high powered firearms and the rescue local kidnapped victim in Brgy Manggis, Indanan, Sulu during the pursuit operation of 35th IB.


The unit started the year in high spirit brought by the gains of the Brigade’s campaign against ASG for the last quarter of 2014. The Brigade conceptualized CAMPLAN “FREE-FOR-ALL” wherein the unit issued 27 OPORDs and a number of FRAG-Os for CY2015 with a total of 40 Brigade size and led operations.

The campaign started with series of encounters in February 1, 5, 6, 7, 25, 26, and 27 by 1st Scout Ranger Battalion and 35th Infantry Battalion. By March, 32nd Infantry Battalions recorded series of encounters that led to recovery of seven (7) HPFAs and neutralization ASG members who were followers of ASG Sub Leader Murassil.

However, on 03 March 2015, 32nd IB lost two (2) of its promising junior officers in a vehicular ambushed and IED explosion in Brgy Pansul, Patikul, Sulu. Despite the setback, the troops managed to hold its ground as manifested by zero loss of its firearms and equipment and was even able to kill ASG Sub Leader Juhurim Hussin.

The most notable achievement of the unit was recorded last 19 August 2015 during the encounter of 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in Sitio Marang, Brgy Buanza, Indanan, Sulu against more or less 200 ASG members which led to the safe rescue of two (2) Kidnapped Victims namely: Rod Pagaling, and Gringo Villaruz, both members of the Philippine Coast Guard. Said encounter also resulted in the neutralization of 26 ASG members killed, 18 wounded, recovery of five (5) HPFAs, and various ASG war materials. The incident also forced the MNLF to dislodge ASG out of their known bailiwick to avoid being associated to ASG’s nefarious activities and dragged into negative publicity brought by the group.

However, after the kidnapping incident in Island Garden City of Samal in Davao on 21 September 2016 involving foreign nationals, the unit was again on the spotlight as pressure were mounting for the immediate rescue of the kidnap victims after they were brought in Sulu by the perpetrators. With this, 4th Scout Ranger Battalion arrived in Sulu last 25 September 2016.

Despite the intensified campaign against ASG, the unit never failed to explore the wonders of Sulu. To promote Tausug culture, the 1st ever Float Parade in downtown Jolo was orchestrated by the unit together with OPCON Battalions, Combat Support, Combat Service Support Units, PNP and LGUs in the province last 14 February 2015.

To endorse eco-tourism, on 25-26 April 2015,  the unit together with partner agencies in the province initiated the 1st ever Mt Tumatangis Trekking and at the same time conducted tree planting in support of the national government’s greening program. Tumatangis is the highest peak in this part of the country and one the primary source of water in 1st District of Sulu. 

Meanwhile, on 08-10 May 2015 the unit launched ‘FROM TERRORISM TO TOURISM” campaign to help in changing people’s perception of the province. During this program, the officers and men of the unit together with representatives from other LGAs, participated the island hopping aboard the traditional boat in Sulu called “Palakaya”. The group visited all island municipalities in the province. Namely: Pangutaran, Panglima Tahil, Pata, Tapul, Lugus, Pandami, and Siasi to include Laminosa Island.

Because of the fast approaching timeline for the defeat of ASG, 10th Infantry “STEADY ON” Battalion was placed OPCON to 501st BDE effective 02 December 2015 and established its headquarters in Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu. The unit then went through orientation training called Small Unit Tactics Training, purposely packaged for Sulu deployed units

For the year, the unit recorded a total 18 Kidnapped victims rescued/released, 17 encounters that resulted to 120 ASG killed, 48 ASG wounded, 32 ASG captured/apprehended, 13 camps seized, 18 firearms recovered, 13 IEDs recovered, while 11 KIAs and 53 WIAs for the government side.


The year was a big challenge for the unit. With the mounting pressure for Joint Task Group Sulu to eliminate ASG not later than 30 June 2016, and considering that 501st BDE was JTGS’ main effort, the unit was left with no other option but to further intensify and sustain the focused military operations despite the limited resources, especially on the availability of troops. For the year, the unit is guided by 501st BDE’s CAMPLAN “WHIRLWIND” to JTGS CAMPLAN “SWIFT VICTORY”.

To help the unit, 44th Infantry Battalion was placed OPCON to to 501st BDE effective 02 Feb 2016. Upon arrival in Sulu, the unit immediately underwent Small Unit Tactics Training which is the standard orientation course to all units deployed in Sulu as instituted by BGEN ARROJADO. During this period, BGEN ARROJADO introduced ‘ANVIL and HAMMER” concept wherein the four (4) Infantry Battalions and two (2) Scout Ranger Battalions will rotate to perform the role of hammer and anvil. Every Battalion will have a buddy battalion wherein one battalion will established keyhole and limited SICA in an identified ASG stronghold community in the hinterlands of Patikul, while the buddy Battalion will act as the security and conduct FMO.

However, will the persistent pressure from higher headquarters asking for immediate result through combat operations, Anvil and Hammer was right away stopped and massive focused military operations immediately commenced.

On 18 March 2016, major encounter transpired between troops of 10th IB against more or less 150 ASG members led by ASG Leader Radullan Sahiron. Said encounter led to 10 ASG killed and 15 wounded, while government troops suffered 1 KIA and 21 WIAs.        

On 23 March 2016, 501st BDE’s campaign suffered another blow after the pull-out of 44th IB in Sulu and redeployed in Basilan. However, after the kidnapping of 10 Indonesian sailors at Sulu sea on 26 March 2016 and 4 Malaysian sailors again in Sulu sea on 31 March 2016, higher headquarters reacted swiftly by sending almost all special units of the armed forces in the province of Sulu to include the ISR support from JSOTF and the newly commissioned Agusta 109 of the Philippine Air Force that is ISR and CAS capable.

On 05 April 2016 BGEN ALAN R ARROJADO was relieved as Commander of Joint Task Group Sulu and was replaced by MGEN GERRY BARRIENTOS,

On 27 April 2016, BGEN ALAN R ARROJADO was relieved as Commander of 501st BDE and COL JOSE C FAUSTINO JR assumed as Brigade Commander of the unit. COL FAUSTINO is then left with a daunting challenge especially as rumors were persistent of the beheading threat by ASG to the Samal Kidnapped victims.

Immediately after his assumption, another focused military operations commenced while at the same time ironing out the preparations for the National and Local Elections last 13 may 2016. During the election, several problems arise but nonetheless all were promptly addressed. Generally, the Brigade was able to perform its mandate for the honest, orderly and peaceful election in the province of Sulu.

For the month of April, almost eleven (11) units were deployed in Sulu. However, no major encounter recorded for the period. This led the newly installed Commander, COL FAUSTINO to introduce the BTA Concept in ASG area which the unit dubbed as KASANYANGAN PATROL. Initially, KASANYANGAN PATROL TEAMs were deployed in all Barangays along MSR of Patikul and also established keyhole forces in communities known to be ASG stronghold in the hinterlands of Patikul-Talipao area, while at the same time designating constriction and engagement areas for the operating forces. With this new approach, operations were more deliberate and engagement rate in every operation is higher. Further, it also enabled the troops to dictate the tempo and influence the situation which put the ASG in an area vulnerable for military’s direct action forces.



• H5ID Certificate of Merit for its outstanding accomplishments as the best Brigade in operations for CY-92 in the conduct of counter-insurgency operations within the AOR of the 5th Inf Div, PA, given on 14th day of December 1992.

• COMNOLCOM streamer – GO Nr 20, HNOLCOM dated 01 April 93.

• H5ID Certificate of Merit for its outstanding accomplishment in the quadratic approach to counter-insurgency operations during the CY-92 which earned prestige and honor to the 5ID being adjudged by the NOLCOM, AFP as the best Brigade for CY-92. Awarded on 14th day of April 1993.

• H5ID Certificate of Merit for being selected as best Brigade in Civil-Military operations for the 2nd quarter of CY-93, in recognition of its outstanding accomplishment in the quadratic approach to counter-insurgency operations specifically in the field of CMO, given on 18 June 1993.

• H5ID Certificate of Merit for being selected as Best Brigade in Intelligence for the 2nd quarter CY-93 in recognition of its outstanding accomplishments in the quadratic approach to counter-insurgency, given on 18 June 1993.



 LTC CATALINO I AGDEPPA (INF) PA 25 Jun 81 to Sep 81
COL ALBERTO T LUCERO (INF) PA 09 Nov 81 to 01 Dec 81
BGEN MANUEL C RIBO AFP 01 Dec 81 to 26 Mar 86
COL ROMEO R TARRAYO INF (GSC) PA 26 Mar 86 to 15 May 86
COL THELMO Y CUNANAN INF (GSC) PA 15 May 86 to 21 Jul 86
BGEN BERNABE M OREÑA AFP  21 Jul 86 to 03 Jan 89
COL MATEO V BAWAGAN INF (GSC) PA 03 Jan 89 to 04 Mar 90
BGEN HOMER C CAPULONG AFP 22 May 90 to 26 Nov 91
BGEN RODOLFO G GARCIA AFP 26 Nov 91 to 30 Jun 95
BGEN JUAN F MAMORNO INF (GSC) PA 30 Jun 95 to 16 May 97
BGEN ROY V KYAMKO AFP 16 May 97 to 07 Sep 99
BGEN JOSE WARLITO M SAYAM AFP 07 Sep 99 to 31 May 01
BGEN GABRIEL A HABACON AFP 31 May 01 to 14 Jul 03
COL OSCAR RANDY S DAUZ (MNSA) PA 14 Jul 03 to 16 Mar 04
BGEN DANIEL R CASABAR JR AFP 16 Mar 04 to 24 Oct 05
BGEN ROMULO C SUPAPO AFP 24 Oct 05 to 14 Mar 07
COL ROBERTO L MORALES INF (GSC) PA 14 Mar 07 to 27 Jul 08
BGEN REMEGIO M DE  VERA AFP 27 Jul 08 to 05 Jul 10
COL ELISEO C POSADAS INF (DSSC) PA 05 Jul 10 to 20 Sep 10
COL BISMARCK D SOLIBA INF (GSC) PA  06 Jun 12 – 13 Jun 12 
BGEN ROGER D SALVADOR AFP 13 Jun 12 – 31 Jul 14
COL NOEL S CLEMENT INF (GSC) PA 31 Jul 14 – 01 Oct 14
BGEN ALAN R ARROJADO AFP 01 Oct 14 – 27 Apr 16