503rd INFANTRY (JUSTICE & PEACE) BRIGADE

503RD INFANTRY BRIGADE

 

The 3rd Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army was organized as a provisional unit of the Philippine army on 21 November 1985 at Camp General Servillano Aquino, Tarlac City. The Brigade was later activated on 01 May 1986 pursuant to HPA General Orders number 88. On 16 April 1988, 3/5 brigade was re-designated as 503rd Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division; Philippine Army pursuant to HPA General Orders number 199 dated 20 April 1988.

Since the activation of the unit in 1986, it has performed various roles in line with the Philippine Army’s Mission. These are: the conduct of ISO; provided security during elections as deputized by the Comelec; conducted CMO through RSOT, accord, cares, alps, disaster, relief and rescue operation and environment protection. It also provided security to government flagship projects and government installations and assisted other government activities in delivering basic goods and services to the people.

 Among the significant achievements of the Unit were: the capture and neutralization of top ranking CT leaders within AOR; Liberated Marag Valley which was dubbed as “paradise lost to paradise regained”; seized Paco and Zinundungan Valleys which were known as former CT strongholds; recovered enemy arms cache in Poguin-Mabiga Complex Kalinga-Apayao in 1994 where 56 assorted FAs, equipment’s, explosive and voluminous documents of high intelligence value were recovered; neutralized the group of Danilo Salinda aka Danny, a former rebel returnee who led the raid of Calaoagan Dacquel Detachment in Gattaran, Cagayan where a total of 37 firearms were recovered by Task Force Danny created by the Unit; recovered enemy cache in Nagtupacan, Baggao, Cagayan in 1996 where 26 high powered FAs were recovered; recovered an enemy cache in Zinundungan Valley in 1997 and 1998 where various enemy equipment’s, logistics and documents were recovered; the unit also captured the ICRC’s camp at Sitio Beew, Barangay Alangtin, Tubo, Abra on 22 June 2005.

In 1994, the brigade has been adjudged as the NOLCOM’s best maneuver brigade. In 2007, the Brigade with 41IB initiated a brigade operation resulting to the capture of enemy camp of the Abra provincial party committee at Brgy Pacoc-Talampac, Lacub, Abra on 02 April 2007. Following items were recovered from the captured camp: various CPP/NPA office and war materials, two (2) HPFAs, 11 claymore mines, three (3) generator sets, seven (7) Icom radios, one (1) dream satellite disk, one (1 TV set, one (1) solar panel, two (2) printers, medical kits, and subversive documents. Significant on this capture was the thwarting of CPP political plans in Abra as well as the negation of NPA anniversary on 29 March 2007.

In November 2007, the Brigade with 50IB, initiated a combat operation that resulted to an encounter with 20 CTs at So Dapulay, Brgy Poblacion, Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte resulting to the killing of two (2) CTs and the recovery of four (4) m16 rifles, two (2) Icom radios, explosive devices, medical accessories and medicines, subversive documents and propaganda materials.

On 02 May 2008, the unit received a command plaque for its invaluable contribution and meritorious service in the implementation of campaign plan “amihan” of the Northern Luzon command, AFP from 01 Jan 2007 to 02 May 2008. The outstanding performance of the brigade with its OPCON units in the conduct of internal security operations led to the dismantling of three (3) Guerilla Fronts KLG Villa, KLG Sandino and KLG Najera.

On 10 Dec 2008, one of the significant Brigade accomplishments is the successful conduct of the Abra Week for Peace. Highlight of the celebration is the signing of two peace covenants; the first covenant is between the local chief executive (LCE) and the elders of the indigenous peoples (IPS) which strengthens their relationship and respect for institutionalized customary and promulgated laws. The second peace covenant is signed by all stake holders indicating their intentions to sustain and support any peace undertakings and or actions in the days ahead.

The Brigade has also been active in supporting the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign. It has participated in three (3) marijuana eradication operations jointly conducted with PDEA car and PDEA region one and in close coordination with PRO 1 and PROCOR. The first operation was conducted within the boundary of La Union and Benguet in the first week of November 2008 resulting to the eradication of 132,000 fully grown marijuana trees, 300 seedlings and 50 kls dried marijuana. The second operation was within the boundaries of Kibungan and Bakun all of Benguet in the first week of December 2008 resulting to eradication of 153,820 fully grown marijuana trees, and 42,910 seedlings.

The unit receives a plaque of appreciation for the successful may 10, 2010 national and 25 October 2010 barangay elections in the Bdes AOR especially in Abra province. The success of the elections was a result of painstaking consultations, preparations, coordination’s and collaborations to all the stakeholders in the area who are longing for an honest, orderly and peaceful election. All of these were started almost a year before the election.

On 26 August 2011, joint elements of 503Bde, 50IB, 3IB and PNP Galimuyod, Iilocos Sur recovered nine (9) improvised anti-personnel and two (2) improvised anti-tank mines, blasting caps and subversive documents with high Intel value at the boundary of San Emilio and Galimuyod both of Ilocos Sur.

On 23 September 2011, among the achievements of the Brigade with two (2) sections of CCoy, (Centurion) of 50IB conducted combat operation at 51QTU GC 582822 vic Brgy Remedios, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur that resulted to the encounter to mol 15 CTs resulting to the recovery of one (1) M16 rifle with scope and one (1) M14 rifle. Another was the encounter of Scout platoon to MOL twenty (20) CTs on -24 September 2011 at 51QTU GC 604801, Brgy Aluling, Cervantes, Iilocos Sur that resulted to the recovery of two (2) m16 rifles; two (2) Icom (Kenwood) radio; two (2) EN killed (body count), @ Ka Likot (TN: Benny Boy Aguilar) and @ Dindo (TN: Delfin Gulayan) a resident of Brgy Baclingayan, Tubo, Abra and two (2) civilians were apprehended by the operating troops near the encounter site believed to be CTs namely: Mr Francis Tengedan y Iinali, 40 years old, resident of Sitio Cawag Aluling, Cervantes, Iilocos Sur and Mr Mateo Sawey y Simungo, 28 years old, resident of Sitio Tam-Awanod same Brgy and Municipality and apprehended CT members of KLG Montes identified as Joy Attiw y Ananayao, 22 years old, single and resident of Brgy Wangwang, Tinok, Ifugao and Lunesa Bonila y Baoayan, 23 years old, single and resident of Brgy Mabalite, Tadian, Mt Province.

On 10 October 2011, the encounter of platoon (-) of 41IB at vicinity 51QTV GC 668730 Brgy Caganayan, Tineg, Abra to MOL (35) CTs under unknown leader resulted to the recovery of the following: four (4) M653 rifles SN defaced; four (4) M16 rifles, one (1) M14 rifle , laptop computer, subversive documents with high intelligence value, dental paraphernalia and first aid kits and eight (8) enemy killed (body count) namely: @ Rencel/Winnie (TN: Dorothy Ating Manuel) secretary, KLG Ne Apcom, @ Wagner/Alon/Oxyn (TN: Miguel Anggaboy), mbr of SYK M200, KLG Baggas, @ Ogie (Reyna Villacarlos), Medical Officer, @ Kris/Cris (TN: Reynaldo Masadao), @ Recti (TN: Edgardo Junjun Balbin), SPP SC, APCOM, @ Emong (TN: Mhel Dehicasyon), @ Bunso (Rodel Corpuz) and @ berlyn/lanot (tn: rogelio gaayon). Section of 41ib together with pnp personnel while conducting JPSCC check point along San Juan-Caganayan road at 51QTV GC 594588 intercepted a white dump-truck with plate number RBX 829 that resulted to the apprehension of one (1) CT member identified as certain aka Soy (TN: Alex Moraflora), 21 years old, a resident of Quezon city who was allegedly wounded from the recent encounter between government troops and CTs in Brgy Caganayan, Tineg, Abra; and on 03 February 2012, troops of 52DRC led by 2LT TORREPALMA overran enemy physical base at Sitio Nagas-asan, Brgy Ud-Udiao, Sallapadan, Abra resulting to the recovery of one (1) caliber .45 and personal belongings.

The Brigade has been adjudged as the PA’s best Brigade for the for CY 2011 during the PA anniversary last 19 March 2012.

The unit’s success could be attributed to the commanders who in the best of their efforts, provided sterling leadership and managerial/acumen in carrying out the unit’s mission.

The Brigade Commander COL ELISEO C POSADAS INF (DSSC) PA relentlessly aiming to intensify the conduct of triad operations in order to attain total victory over the enemy and sustain a peaceful environment conducive to development and progress in our area of operations.

Due to these accomplishments, the brigade has been adjudged as the Philippine Army’s Best Brigade for the CY 2011 during the Philippine Army Anniversary last 22 March 2012.
In 2013, the brigade had been again an actor for the successful conduct of National and Local Elections wherein it was hailed as the most peaceful and credible election in Abra province. As recorded, it was first time not to be under COMELEC control since 1978, no candidate was assassinated/killed/injured during the election period, no Local Communist violent incident was perpetrated during the period and the 83.9% voter turn-out of Abra is the highest in the entire CAR.
The IPSO lead role over Mt Province was finally handed over to Governor Leonard G Mayaen on 19 December 2013 after turning over IPSO lead role per town to each respective mayors.

BEST PRACTICES

1. The “Abra Week for Peace” started in December 2008, an annual joint peace advocacy and endeavour among the AFP, PNP, Provincial Government and other stakeholders celebrated every 04-10 of December crusading to bring a culture of peace within the province of Abra.

2. The 503rd IBde spearheaded the establishment of “Abra Ugnayan Center” in 2009 which serve as a focal point of collaboration between stakeholders.

3. Likewise, to help the rebel returnees in their reintegration to the mainstream society, “Kabsat Ko, Ipateg Ko” Program was created. A program designed to rehabilitate rebel returnees under a caring scheme with the full participation of the NGAs, LGAs/LGUs, NGOs as well as stakeholders and private individuals.

4. The Church Military Advisory Group (CMAG), formulated in 2009 provides a venue for the sustainment of the reintegration of the rebel returnees, furtherance of local peace talks and negotiations and resolving conflicts.

On 20 February 2014 the PNP-Abra was included to the CMAG afterwhich it was renamed to Church Military Police Action Group (CMPAG).

As this unit celebrate another year of its existence, may we renew our commitment to serve by acknowledging our parties in keeping the peace and development in our AOR.
Currently, this unit, with its new Area of Responsibility covers the provinces of:

1. Kalinga, the “Peacocks of the North” with their Provincial Governor Hon Jocel C. Baac is widely known for its very peculiar culture and tradition. The Bodong to the Kalingas or Peace Pact is an indigenous socio-political system that defines inter-tribal relationships. They celebrated the “Ulalim Festival” annually to showcase their vast unique culture. Its main products are the famous coffee (Kalinga Brew/Blend), ‘Sichut’ and ‘Kalinga Weave’. Also, it has been an attraction for its Chico River Water Rafting, and the Mt. Mating-oy Dinayao or popularly known as Sleeping Beauty of Tinglayan.

2. Apayao, the “Cordillera’s Last Frontier for Nature Richness” with their Provincial Governor Hon Elias K. Bulut, aside from the peaceful and disciplined inhabitants they presents a must see natures wonder. These includes the Apayao River which flows from the watershed to the heartlands traversing six (6) Apayao municipalities and being one of the few rivers that remains unpolluted in existence; Lussok Crystal Cave, with its three (3) chambers cave holding various stalagmite formations; and the Anag-Sicapo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kabugao. They also have Mt Solo in Pudtol being the highest peak of the region and Mt View Deck both in Luna are some of the best spots in the province. Handicraft manufacture can also take advantage of the availability of forest and mineral resources such as rattan, bamboo, marble and gemstones.

3. Abra, the “Tingguians” with Provincial Governor Hon Eustaquio P. Bersamin. This province was known for its distinctive tourist spots that will surely captivate the thrill seekers. It is famous for its “Kawayan Festival” with bamboo products as their main industry. They also have their Abra River, which is the biggest, longest and most popular river in the province. In addition to their natural wonders is the Tangadan Tunnel or popularly known as “Usok” located at Brgy. Tangadan, San Quintin, Abra which is the gateway to the said province.

At present, the brigade is headed by a Bayanihan-focused and combat experienced Brigade Commander, COL PAUL T ATAL, D.P.A. INF (GSC) PA.

The 503rd Infantry (Justice & Peace) Brigade, 5ID, PA continuously aims to intensify the conduct of Bayanihan-Focused military operation in order to attain a peaceful environment conducive to sustainable development.

 

LINEAGE OF COMMANDERS

NAMES INCLUSIVE DATES
COL JAIME S CALOSING 21 Nov ’85 – 12 Mar ‘86
COL TEODORO R FACELO 12 Mar ’86 – 09 Sep ‘86
COL ROMAN Q GAVINO JR 09 Sep ’86 – 11 Oct  ‘86 
COL CRISTINO R PIOL 11 Oct ’86 – 16 Nov ‘86
BGEN MANUEL V CACANANDO 16 Nov ’86 – 21 Apr ‘87
BGEN FRANCISCO T JUCUTAN AFP 21 Apr  ’87- 02 Dec ‘87
COL GEORGE M MOLETA 02 Dec ’87- 02 Apr  ‘90
BGEN ROBERTO P MANLONGAT AFP 02 Apr ’90 – 21 Aug ‘92
BGEN DIOMEDIO P VILLANUEVA AFP 21 Aug ’92- 21 Aug ‘94
COL DUNDA K MATABALAO 21 Aug ’94 -01 Dec ‘97
BGEN RODOLFO G ALVARADO AFP 01 Dec ’97- 01 Dec ‘00
BGEN RICARDO G NOBLEZA AFP 01 Dec ’00 -14 Jul ‘03
COL ANASTACIO A SALUD 14 Jul ’03 – 10 Feb ‘04
BGEN MELCHOR J DILODILO AFP 10 Feb ’04- 28 Jul ‘05
BGEN MANUEL E MARIANO JR AFP 28 Jul ’05- 22 Aug ‘06
BGEN LORETO G RIRAO AFP 22 Aug ’06- 15 Jan ‘08
COL POMPEO V LIMBO FA (GSC) PA 15 Jan ’08 – 21 Jul ‘09
COL ESSEL C SORIANO 21 Jul ’09 – 09 Oct ‘10
COL DANNY P PABUNAN INF (GSC) PA 09 Oct ’10 – 19 Jul ‘11
COL ELISEO C POSADAS INF (GSC) PA 19 Jul ’11 – 30 Jan ‘13
BGEN HERNANDO DCA IRIBERRI AFP 30 Jan ’13 – 06 Jul ‘13
COL PAUL T ATAL, D.P.A. INF (GSC) PA  07 Jul ’13 – To Date