Marawi siege spox is new 53IB commander

Written by Divina Suson, published on March 6, 2020, at https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1095744

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Brigadier General Gene Ponio (right), passes the unit color to Lt. Colonel Jo-arr Herrera (left), in a change of command ceremony at the headquarters of the 53rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on Thursday afternoon (March 5, 2020). Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, the outgoing commander, is set to assume the post of the assistant chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations of the 1st Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. (Photo courtesy of 1ID)

ILIGAN CITY — The military’s spokesperson during the 2017 Marawi siege took over on Thursday afternoon as the new commander of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Guipos town, Zamboanga del Sur.

Lt. Colonel Jo-arr Herrera replaced Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria in a change of command ceremony held at the battalion’s headquarters in Camp Sabido, Barangay Poblacion.

Patria is set to assume the post of the assistant chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations of the 1st Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Herrera served as the media’s point person of the now-defunct Task Group Ranao during the first two months of the siege before he was replaced by then Col. Romeo Brawner.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1999, Herrera is an Army ranger who topped his class in Psyops Officers Course in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, United States.

He is a graduate of Master of Arts major in Social and Development Studies in the University of the Philippines-Baguio.

He also completed his Command and Staff Course in Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College, Singapore, a requirement for his current position.

During his assumption speech, Herrera thanked and expressed his gratitude to the command for considering him as the 53IB’s new commanding officer.

He also emphasized the importance of collaboration and convergence among stakeholders, as well as the “commitment and courage of troops to accomplish the mandated task”.

He also vowed to continue the legacy of his predecessor.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, 1ID commander, thanked Patria for his accomplishments while expressing confidence in Herrera.

“I also urge the stakeholders to trust and support the new battalion commander in its goal for a more peaceful and progressive Zamboanga del Sur,” Ponio said. (PNA)