For Lt. Col. Oriel Pangcog, the newly-installed commander of the elite 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in Negros, there are no gray areas in the observance of human rights and rule of law.
Pangcog, a veteran of the Mindanao campaign as an officer of the First Scout Ranger Regiment, said he wants every member of the 1st SRB to strictly observe adherence to human rights.
“As agents of the state, we have all the power and authority. But this is not a reason to make a short cut (in the performance of our duty) and abuse it,” Pangcog, who served the First Scout Ranger Regiment for 11 years in MIndanao, said.
“For me knowledge of human rights and the rule of law, is an added weapon that would enhance our capacity. I don’t see it as a hindrance, but an additional weapon for us to be truly good public servants of the people of Negros,” Pangcog also said.
Col. Abraham Bagasin, commander of the First Scout Ranger Regiment, installed Pangcog, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1991, as the new commander of the 1st SRB in Brgy. La Granja, La Carlota City, Saturday.
Bagasin, who formerly served as commander of the 11th Infantry Battalion in central Negros, also underscored the need to maintain discipline among Ranger troopers, and strict adherence to human rights laws.
He said that discipline is very vital to every military outfit, and enjoined the 1st SRB to maintain its record of zero human rights violations in Negros.
The 1st SRB, which is composed of three infantry companies, serves as the rapid deployment force of the 3rd Infantry Division in Visayas.
Pangcog, who took up his masters in conflict and peace studies in Australia, said he hopes to contribute to the peace building and developmental efforts of the Philippine Army in Negros, and wants the 1st SRB, not only to be known as a fighting unit, but also as a peace and development builder.
Pangcog said that while being feared by enemies of the state, he envisions the 1st SRB as loved by the people of Negros as public servants. “We want the people to love us, not to hate us,” he added.
“Within these parameters, I will give specific instructions to my men on how to deal with the people, our co-soldiers, and to the enemies of the state, Pangcog said.* GPB