THE 14TH BATTALION COMBAT TEAM
The 14th Battalion Combat Team (14th BCT), the forefather of the 14th Infantry (AVENGER) Battalion was activated in August 1, 1950 at fort William Mckinley, Rizal with two (2) officers and sixteen (16) enlisted men initially assigned to it. The need of more troops in Laguna was so urgent then that this Battalion on was move even before completing its organization. Several PC companies were absorbed and some units with excess personnel were taken in Training was conducted simultaneously with operations. After the completion of the units training 14th BCT was immediately thrown into the anti dissident campaign. The unit was designed to go after the communist inspired Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP) which at that time the governments’ effort to crush the leftist had been intensified to give no respite to the enemies of the state.
“WHY THE NAME AVENGER”
14th BCT was assigned to the province of Baras, Rizal as their area of responsibility. It was while operating in the mountainous part of Rizal where the “AVENGER” name of the BCT was conceived. During that time the HARDIES, an American family, ran a dairy farm in the fertile hills of Antipolo. They were then supplying Manila and nearby areas with their dairy products. A band of Huks in their intent to sow fear in the area mercilessly murdered the entire family. The incident was reported to the Battalion prompting the elements of “D” Company, 14th BCT under CPT CONDRADO D CABAGUE to react and sweep the countryside for the perpetrators. The swift and timely reaction of the accounted for twenty one (21) of said dissidents tracked down and killed in a fierce skirmish.
By their courage and tenacity, the 14th BCT was given the catch name “AVENGER” by then Secretary of Defense and later president of the Republic of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay.
Avengers are not vengeance seekers but defenders of weak against tyranny. Since then the Avengers was destined to avenge ones wrong another in the field.
DEPLOYMENT TO KOREA
Because of their impressive combat records in the field on August 29, 1952 pursuant to General Orders number 35, GHQ, AFP, the 14th BCT under COL NICANOR JIMENEZ was chosen as one of the Philippines Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) contingents to help dismantle communism then raging in the Republic of South Korea.
On 26 March 1953, the Avengers arrived at the sea port Pusan, South Korea. The troops were given warm welcome by the Koreans and some of the allied forces already in the area. After which, they boarded a train and proceeded to Chon chon from there, they were transported to Inje Valley by trucks on convoy. Upon arrival, the troops were given a brief rest on their bivouac area. After which, intensive training started to enable them to learn new tactics and techniques in fighting the communist soldier.
FIRST MISSION IN KOREA
On 15th of May 1953 the new Filipino Battalion took their first combat mission, its sector stretched for about one (1) mile astride in the Stae-ri Valley. “B” Company occupied the ridge on the left of “sandbag castle” and on the valley floor were elements of “A” Company together with their combat support units. While elements of “C” Company was on Heartbreak Ridge.
Stae-ri Valley was one of the main invasion routes in the East Central Front that is why the Battalion was given a mission to deny the enemy use of the valley below and to secure the commanding terrain and Heartbreak Ridge.
The Avengers lost no time in making the communist troops aware of their presence by harassing the enemy lines both with artillery fire, small arms firefight and conducting aggressive combat patrols info enemy territory. With this action of the 14th BCT, the enemy was not able to cross or advance through the invasion routes.
One noteworthy patrol action was that which was led by Sgt Ponciano Agno of “C” Company which got itself into close combat with the enemy. He reinforced and extricated a surrounded squad under Pfc Aquilino Agustin who was captured and being dragged away by the Red Chinese. But at a decisive place and time. Pfc Agustin exploded two (2) hand grenades. The Chinese were killed, but he was riddled with shrapnel despite of his armor vest and steel helmet. With this singular feat of heroism, Pfc Agustin was later awarded with the US Silver Star, the third highest decoration of the US Army.
The Battalion engaged more in routine patrols. Inflicting more casualties on the enemy until the enemies of 40th Division (US) replaced the Avengers sometime on May 1953.
In June, the area of 20th ROK Division was subjected to intense enemy attack. As a consequence the 45th Infantry Division (US) was sent to relieve the beleaguered Korean unit. The 14th BCT operating under the US 45th Infantry (Thunderbird) Division was designated as counter attacking force. They established blocking position of Paek-san-san. For eight (8) consecutive days, the Avengers secured the MCR while maintain two (2) companies under alert for immediate deployment.
On July, 14, 1953, at 12:24 AM. Red Chinese conducted an offensive. For one (1) night, the areas of the whole Battalion were preferred with artillery shells. The devastating blows cause the loss of two (2) officers and six (6) WIA. In this action, LIEUTENANT TEODORICO DOMINADO JR of Dumaguete City was killed. LIEUTENANT FILICIANO MIRAVITE was also hit directly in this encounter causing his paralysis.
At dawn, “A” and “B” Companies, 14th BCT were ordered to occupy “Christmas Hill” “B” Company went ahead at 0530H but while on their way two (2) CCF Battalions overran “K” Company of 180th Infantry Regiment “B” Company, 14th BCT was ordered to counter attack and rush to the site but rain and Koreans silt delayed the movement. When they reached “Christmas Hill” 1st Company of 180th US Infantry Regiment had already cleared up the area. So portions were not thoroughly, cleared so the Avengers finished the job until 16th July 1952. In this action, CCF casualties were counted at 200 killed and 350 wounded. A CCF probing company provided the fire power causing the enemy to withdraw o the night of 15 July.
The following date, “G” Company of 180th US Infantry Regiment was replaced by “A” Company, 14th BCT while “B” Company moved to main line of resistance. The rest of 2nd Battalion, 279th US Infantry Regiment was taking over by the enemies of the 14th BCT.
At around 180930H July, 1953, enemy movement was first noticed in front of the machine gun nest of the Avengers while the other companies observed that the enemy crawling and striking their concertina wires. Orders were passed along line not to waste ammunition and wait until CCF came nearer. Machine gun positions reported that the CCF elements are at 30 meters up front. At that juncture, a prearranged flare was fired and all the guns open fired. The Red Chinese fold back. The enemy from the opposite hill retaliated with small arms fire followed by mortar and artillery barrages which were countered by the friendly artillery. It could be seen through artillery illumination fire, bodies strangle and the barbed wire while down below, the remnants could be seen on the defiles.
On 18, July, the CCF troops conducted psychological warfare operation at Hill 500 on Satae-ri Front. With the use of loudspeakers, the Chinese would announced and persuade the Avengers. “GO HOME, WE ARE NOT YOUR ENEMIES”. And followed by screaming a “BANZAI”. This would be answered by the troops by opening their radios full volume and accompanied by singing.
The incident happened again at Christmas Hill on the night of 22 July, 1953. The enemy used blinking lights in the darkness in front of the friendly troops then loud irritating Chinese music was played accompanied by automatic rifle fire. The Avengers ignored their style but still on alert. The entire show only stopped after artillery fire was heard from “A” Company which sent the enemy for cover. Unknowingly, the enemy is preparing for another offensive.
On 24-26 July 1953, “A” Company was receiving 500 rounds of enemy artillery shells a day, disrupting communication and re-supply. For three (3) days, the troops ran out of ammunition and hid on their foxholes.
Meanwhile, news was heard that a truce was being negotiated at Panmunjon. In spite of this news, however the enemy continues firing their artillery tubes at the heaviest was on the 27th of July.
News was received that the troops would be at 272200H July, 1953 from 1100 instructions were passed along the line to cease fire on the time set.
Before 2200H the Battalion received more than 1,000 rounds of artillery shells from the CCF. Despite, the cease fire order. The PEFTOK, artillery battery engaged the Communist guns all-out-duel.
At around 2200H, the entire battle front fell into complete silence. The following day, 28th July, the Avengers dismantled its fortifications, detonated its mines and rolled up their concertina wires. After which, the unit moved and transferred to Yanggu Valley where it set up a camp and named in Honor of LIEUTENANT DOMINADO JR who lost his life at Paeksuk-san.
From Camp Dominado, the Avengers embarked on an intensive training program. They also conducted rehabilitation on the ravaged village brought by war along Yanggu Valley with other friendly troops.
Because of its record in the front lines, the unit was awarded the Korean Presidential Unit Citation on 27th July, 1953. On March 1954, the 14th BCT left South Korea and returned to their native land. When they reached the sea port of Manila, they were surprised since the port was crowded by their relatives, friends and other spectators to include government officials who waved their hands and cheering up. A formal ceremony was made up on their arrival. Then the 14th BCT was awarded with the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation having successfully fulfilled the country’s commitment to global peace and security.
After its return, the excess personnel of the unit were distributed to the various Philippine army Units where their services were most needed. It maintained its basic Battalion personnel in accordance with local conditions. Then the unit was again thrown into anti-dissident campaign. Not long thereafter, it was deactivated like the rest of its sister Organizations which emerged during the height of the government all-out-war against Huk dissidents.
On June 1973, when the secessionist movement of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in southern Philippines opted to go on an all-out-war with the established government, the unit was reactivated as unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assigned Philippine Army pursuant to General Orders Nr. 490, GHQ, AFP dated 7 June 1973 as a provisional unit in accordance with AFP TOE 7-15B effective 16 May, 1973. It officially existed on 28 May 1973 when the first batch of nineteen (19) officers and forty-nine (49) EP were assigned to it. The provisional status was discontinued by section 1, General Orders Nr. 350, General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines dated 25 June, 1973. The Avengers was then named as 14th Infantry (AVENGER) Battalion (14IB) and become organic to 1st Infantry Division. Then it was sent to Mindanao to address the need of fighting troops an engage in the pacification campaign against the MNLF. During the training of these officers and men of the Avengers, they were directed to participate in the testimonial parade for the president of the Republic of the Philippines on September, 1973. On this particular activity, the Avengers have earned its first unit award which was the “Best Marching Unit” after its reactivation.
FIRST MISSION-SIOCON ISLAND, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE
The Avengers under the able leadership of then LT COL SALVADOR M MISON boarded an LST and proceeded to their first mission in southern Philippines- Siocon, Zamboanga Del Norte. The troops arrived in Siocon on 02 November, 1973 and started sweeping the area from Siocon, Siraway to Sibuto. During the skirmish, the Avengers reserved its first baptism of fire but stood their ground. This led to the capture of Fort Sta Maria, a known rebel training camp.
LIBERATION OF JOLO TOWN PROPER
When the peace and order situation in Siocon Island was normalized and the responsibility was turned-over to the Constabulary and police forces in the area, the Avengers were pulled-out on 06 February 21974, completing almost three (3) months of their stay in the area. The pull-out was prompted to move on the augment Philippine Army units and other pacification campaigners further south, at that time, Jolo town proper fell I the hands of the rebels. Still under the command of COL SALVADOR M MISON, the Avengers while on their way to Jolo, were briefed on the situation and prepared themselves to conduct counter attack to liberate the town. On 07 February 1974, the Avengers landed in Jolo. The next day, 08 February, 1974, it had cleared the area of terrorist rebels that had wrecked the growth of peace and economy in the municipalities of Jolo. In effect of the just concluded successful regaining of Jolo town proper, the government has placed the entire town in full military control with COL MUŇOZ acted as the Military Mayor.
The situation had not lasted long since through the joined effort of the military and the local government, the administration of the town was finally turned over to the duly elected local government officials. Peace campaign did not end in Jolo, after the normalization of the peace and order situation in the town, the Avengers move out on 26th April 1974 and proceeded to Talipao, Sulu. On 28, May 1974, it occupied Luuk, Sulu exactly celebrating its 1st founding anniversary reckoned from its reactivation. In Luuk, Kuta Kambing and Mt. Tayungan was captured which brought severe demoralization on the enemy. Several combat maneuver and psyops were conducted until on 15 October, 1974, the unit was pulled-out again for another mission. By these outstanding feats, the Avengers bagged their second unit award which was the CHIEF OF STAFF STREAMER in 1974.
BASILAN THE HOME OF YAKANS
On 16 October, 1974, the Avengers aboard and LST, still under the leadership of then COL SALVADOR M MISON, was transported from Jolo Sulu to Basilan- the home of Yakans. In Basilan, the unit landed in Mangal, Sumisip, Basilan. In this province, the unit occupied a part of the mainland and three (3) islands, side by side with the 24th Infantry (WILDCAT) Battalion. The unit conducted massive combat operations as well as Civil-Military Operations. Among the significant accomplishment of the unit in Basilan where the retaking of coastal and mainland towns which were considered as lairs and well-entrenched camps of the MNLF under Commander Salappudin. These pacification efforts of the Avengers have paved the way in restoring the economic growth of the province. Due to the persistent intelligence reports that the rebels were using the sea as their MSR. The battalion has acquired three (3) tempers and its line units have four to five pump boats. More so, when the troops in Jolo were in need of skilled pump boat operators to augment seaborne operation in their area, the battalion has trained and sent a hundred which traversed the seas from Basilan to Jolo. These courageous Avengers were able to cross the high seas characterized as rough and strong currents.
Sometime in 1977, the 24th Infantry (WILDCAT) Battalion fresh from retraining under the leadership of then COL DADO, swept the western side of mainland Basilan and Higher Headquarters directed the unit to augment seaborne operations to block possible route of withdrawal of the rebels. To accomplish the mission, the unit has to coordinate with the local populace in acquiring about fifty (50) pump boats. Due to its good, rapport and relations with the populace, the unit was able to acquire its pump boat requirements and conducted seaborne operations which lasted for a month. While on board the pump boats, troops adapted themselves like “Badjaos” who spent their lives in the sea, eating, sleeping, and relieving their personal necessities. Then, in early of 1978, the Avengers were pulled from Mangal, Sumisip, Basilan and proceeded to its new area. In this area, succession of commander took place. On 28 May, 1975, COL SALVADOR M MISON was relieved by LT COL LISANDRO C ABADIA, his Executive Officer. Then in 16 June 1976, COL ABADIA was relieved by LT COL ROMEO A PADIERNOS who commanded the unit until 12 May, 1979.
On 22 April 1977, the Avengers occupied Lamitan, a progressive town of Basilan. For the Avengers, this place is like home since almost 50 percent of the people are Catholics. Unlike in Sulu archipelago and Mangal, Basilan whose inhabitants were almost 90 percent Muslims-Tausug, Yakans, Samals, and Badjaos. Roman Catholic and other religious sects’ devotees were able to worship and express to their thanks to the almighty through masses inside the Catholic Church. The Battalion established their headquarters at Campo Uno and deployed its line units within its periphery.
Tuburan, Basilan was a town where MNLF has occupied for about a year. The occupation of the rebels has negatively affected the economic condition of the town and the entire province of Basilan considering the vast, coconut, rice and abaca plantation in the area and the sparse root crops production. The Muslim who owned the land and the plantation were denied in harvesting their product for fear of the rebels. With this situation, the battalion has assigned the “D” Company under the then CPT FEDERICO VIDAD as their commanding officer to break into the sea. In less than a week time, the “D” Company was able to regain Tuburan and established their Company CP and gradually convinced the people to return to their homes and harvest their crops. In three (3) months time, economy in the area has been normalized and engineering equipment began to pour in to reconstruct and rehabilitate roads linking Tuburan to Lamitan, a commercial town in the province.
SIEGE OF LANGIL ISLAND
Due to persistent reliable information that MNLF rebels had seek refuge on an island west of Tuburan, the Battalion, side by side with its sister battalion, the 24th (DEOET PATRIA) infantry Battalion, the Philippine Navy, conducted air, sea and ground attack at a pre-designated time. The Air Force has first strafed the island at about 0500H, then the Navy rained their 20MM cannons at about 0600h and the Army, 14IB and 34IB beach landed on the shores of the island and eventually cleared the area. During the search, more than fifty (50) high powered firearms recovered including one (1) cal.30 Light Machine Gun. Exactly three (3) days, the island was cleared. With this feat, several Draftees were enlisted and Enlisted Personnel wee promoted pursuant to the “one firearm, one promotion/enlistment” program of the First Infantry (TABAK) Division under BGEN LUGA.
To rehabilitate the province, the Battalion had accomplished the construction and maintenance of more than 27 kilometers of new roads. Ninety one (91) new school rooms in twenty one (21) Barangays and Sitios, two (2) Rural health Centers, one (1) Barangay market and one (1) Barangay hall have been completed benefiting the populace in the area. About 36,174 medical and dental cases treated and massive immunization was conducted in far flung areas. The most significant accomplishment of the unit was 100,000.00 pesos Mosque project at Bubuan, Sumisip, Basilan Province constructed by joint efforts of the 14IB and the local populace thereat. When the unit’s mission in Basilan province was successfully completed, the unit was pulled-out from the area.
“BALIK-BAYAN TO JOLO (MT. TUMATANGIS)
On 15 November 1978, as the situation gradually normalizes in Basilan, the Avengers were pulled out augment peace campaign efforts of other Armed Forces and marched down the town towards its new area which is Mt. Tumatangis. The Avengers settled themselves in Buansa while preparing for the attack of MNLF camp in the e area. For about a month of sweeping Mt Tumatangis, the unit was able to clear the area but also suffered casualties caused by sniper fires from the MNLF. After clearing the area, the unit consolidated again at Buansa and was given a brief rest. A time to conduct sanitizing patrols and civil-military operations. During this patrols arm cache was recovered at Andihi about thirty (30) firearms were captured and several cases of smuggled blue seal cigarettes. Again more deserving Draftees were enlisted and Enlisted Personnel were promoted. After several weeks, the unit again moved out from Buansa and proceeded to its new area- Talipao, Sulu.
LANDMINES IN TALIPAO
On 04 March 1979, the Avengers march off from Buansa and began its way to Talipao, Sulu. Aware of the landmines along the dirt road leading to Buhangin Puti, the troops were on foot while their luggages were loaded on its organic vehicles. While on their way, troops were sniped and harassed by MNLF rebels whose sanctuary was on the hills of Talipao. With these developments, the troops were prompted to engage the rebels in fierce skirmishes. Fortunately no casualties were reported until they have cleared the road and the area and reached its initial destination – Buhangin Puti. The area was empty and could be noticed that it was newly abandoned. Chickens, bundles of tobacco and other personal belongings of the rebels were left. Upon its occupation the Avenger began to clear its periphery including the most treacherous landmines-laden road linking Jolo proper to Talipao, Sulu. On unforgettable event that the unit experienced in their stay in Buhangin Puti happened sometimes on April 1979 when a group of Draftees due for termination and bound to Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division to take-up skill training. Skill training was one of the programs of the government then in providing those Draftees who have served the military organization who were unlucky enough to be enlisted into Regular Force. As an SOP of the unit, before departure of any organic vehicle, a company-side troop will move out to clear the road. These include minesweeper from EOD unit. Since Talipao’s ground was characterized as volcanic, mine defectors were being deceived of its existence. There were times when the detectors beeped but when unearthed, it was only a volcanic rock. Sensing that the road was already safe for vehicles, the Commander of the security force, then CPT OSCAR LOTERTE, CO of “C” Company, advise the Headquarters to release the vehicles. For about a mile from Headquarters, one (1) M35 truck happened to rolled over a home- made 40-pound mine and blasted it off. The vehicle rose five (5) meters from the ground throwing its passengers high up in the air. These Draftees suffered KIAs and WIAs. Those wounded were incapacitated due to the impact of the landmines. It was not only the time the unit’s vehicles were mined but also the attached Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) of the Light Armor Brigade. These prompted the unit to minimize the use of vehicles in moving out the area until the time when the road was cleared and generally safe. After a brief stay in the area, the Avengers then moved their final destination- Kabungkol, Talipao, Sulu.
Kabungkol is a coastal barangay of Talipao. This barangay served as the terminal of passenger jeeps from Jolo town proper to the other coastal and progressive barangays. Since it was under the claws of the rebels passengers jeeps were not able to use the terminal and people in the area used the sea through pump boats almost circling the island before it can town proper.
The Avengers were able to clear Kabungkul and established their Headquarters thereat. During that time, LT COL ROMEO PADIERNOS was relieved by the late MAJ FELIPE V “The Black Eagle” CORLONSITO. This was time when the unit conducted its massive clearing operations not only on its area of responsibility but also in the nearby areas. During one of its combat operations directed by 1/2 under Brigade under COL MISON, the unit tasked to clear Bonbon, Panamao,Sulu, side by side with 34th (DEO ET PATRIA) Infantry Battalion where MAJ “BLACK EAGLE” CORLONSITO as the Task Force Commander. On that fateful day of 03 June 1979, MAJ CORLONSITO went to headquarters, 1st Infantry Division to attend conference. On his way back to tactical command post his convoy was ambushed by MNLF. The incident was simultaneous attack of the positions of the operating troops to hinder possible reinforcement to the ambushed troops. MAJ CORLONCITO succumbed to death due to several gunshot wound on his body. Pursue operations were immediately conducted and these rebels were tracked down and subsequently killed in a fierce firefight.
As an outset of the death of MAJ CORLONSITO, LT COL ROMEO B TARRAYO succeeded the command of the unit on June 1979. During the stewardship of LTC TARRAYO, the unit has conducted massive clearing operations hand in hand with civil-military operations. Noteworthy among the accomplishments of the unit was the clearing of the Pata Island which was 15 nautical miles south of Sulu archipelago. It has been categorized during those times as sanctuary of the rebels/bandits and smugglers. To this effect, a battalion-minus combat operation was launched to clear the islands. The Avengers on board its organic tempers and pump boats landed in Pata Island and immediately swept the area. The troops while moving towards its objectives were secured in front of flanks by organic mortar fires. In a week’s time, the island was cleared where several high-powered firearms were captured to include the killing of its rebel leader. Once again, the unit bagged their third unit award which was the COMSOUTHCOM Streamer award in 1979 for its gallantry in action. With the need to re-equip, refresh and re-educate its personnel, the Avengers was alerted to return at Tawi-tawi to heed to a call of duty. The Avengers was called upon to reinforce the 6th Marines Battalion Landing Team.
THE PUTAKTE IN TAWI-TAWI ISLAND
The unit landed in Batobato, Tawi-tawi on 01 August 1980. They have cleared Tarawakan and Balimbing roads. But unfortunately, another unforgettable event happened. This was during one of the movements of the troops when its leading platoon has unintentionally disturbed a beehive with thousands of 'putakte'. The troops scampered for safety but one Enlisted Personnel, Sgt Madios was heavily bitten which caused his death. The Avengers has spent twenty (20) days in Tawi-twi before proceeding to Luzon for their retraining. On arrival from Tawi-tawi, the unit was again awarded the CG, PA Streamer for its various achievements/ accomplishments in Mindanao, the unit moved out and were transported to Fort Magsaysay.
FIRST RETRAINING-FORT MAGSAYSAY, PALAYAN CITY
On 01 September, 1980 the Avengers arrived at Fort Magsaysay and was billeted at 3rd Howitzer Battalion barracks in sector 3. New doctrines, tactics and strategies were emphasized to update the unit’s fighting capabilities. This reeducation of the unit was aimed to cope with the present trend of counter-insurgency, pending its deployment to the Visayas. One company was trained in Scout Ranger Operations while others were trained on administrative function. Before the conclusion of its retraining, the unit passed the Individual Circuit Training Course conducted by Army Special Warfare Brigade of (Airborne). Coupled with intelligent officers and disciplined enlisted men, the unit passed the retraining with flying colors. On 31 January 1981, the unit graduated from its retraining and was placed under the 5th Infantry Division pending its deployment in Eastern Visayas- Samar Island. On 10 February, 1981, the Avengers moved out from Fort Magsaysay and proceeded to Sangley Point, Cavite to board the LST which will transport them to its new area of responsibility.
FIRST BASE- SAN ROQUE, NORTHERN SAMAR
San Roque, Northern Samar was under the responsibility of the 60th Philippine Constabulary. During that time, 60th PC Battalion suffered heavy casualties in the hinterlands of San Roque and Pambujan. With its situation, Armed Forces have deemed it necessary to place the province under an Army unit to continue its peace campaign efforts against insurgency.
So on 01 February, 1981, the Avengers relieved the 60th PC Battalion and has taken into their responsibility nine (9) coastal towns and one (1) hinter town. These were Mondragon, Silvino Lobos, San Roque, Pambujan, Catubig, Las Navas, Gamay, Palapag, Mapanas and Lapinig. The stay of the Battalion at the province has won the hearts and minds of the people. This was so because of the massive civil-military operations side by side with combat operations. One of the significant operations conducted by the Avengers in the province was the recovery of the slain bodies of civilians at Brgy Sag-od, Las Navas, Northern Samar. These were believed to be executed by Communist-Terrorists.
The unit stayed in province for eight (8) months. So on 22 October, 1981, the unit was pulled out from Northern Samar and deployed at Brgy Patag, Wright Samar.
SECOND BASE- PATAG WRIGHT SAMAR
Since Patag was considered as a non-strategic location as far as the control of line units is concerned, the Avengers transferred to Bagacay, Hinabangan, Samar.
THIRD BASE-BAGACAY, HINABANGAN, SAMAR
Bagacay was a progressive barangay due to the location of Philippine Pyrate Corporation or popularly known as the Bagacay Mines. As an outset of being progressive, the Communist-Terrorists in the area, solicited financial support or progressive taxes. Accordingly, the CT’s regularly collecting their extortion form the management. So the unit established it Battalion Headquarters inside the mining compound and immediately cleared its periphery. Reported communist terrorists camps and sanctuaries were raided and cleared. The area of the unit spread from Western Samar to Eastern Samar and the Avengers placed OPCOM the Philippine Constabulary Brigade Task Group at Borongan, Eastern Samar under the then COL FABIC.
The unit has been with the Long Range Patrol of the Philippine Constabulary (LRP) in pursuing its main effort of sustaining peace in the area. Massive combat patrols have resulted to the capture of Communist-Terrorists camps and equipment. These equipments included low and high powered fire arms, typewriters, medical kits, and voluminous subversive documents. Peace campaign effort gradually permitted the continuous growth of economy in the area. It is not only through the effort of the military organization but also through the cooperation of the local government unit. When the peace and order situation in the area began to normalized, the unit was again tasked to move- out from the area to continue its peace campaign in the West. On 24 October, 1983, the unit pulled out and proceeded o its new area- Buenavista, San Jorge, Samar.
FOURTH BASE- BUENAVISTA, SAN JORGE, SAMAR
On 25, April, 1983, the unit occupied Brgy Buenavista, San Jorge, Samar. It has taken responsibility over highway towns as well as hinter towns of the province that is Matuguinao. During this time, insurgency activities in Southern Leyte have increased. As a consequence, Higher Headquarters has directed the unit to send one (1) company to address the need of additional troop in the area. “A” Company was sent under the able leadership of CPT FRANKIE Z BEASA. They occupied Mahaplag and its nearby towns. Their stay in the area has been a multi-tasking counter-insurgency security during the election, rescue and rehabilitation and other tasks that had been directed to them. The unit with only two (2) line units in its area, continue to exert their efforts to accomplish their mission. Their stay in the area was cut short as an outset of a faithful event in the history of the country when the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was assassinated in August 23, 1983. The incident has paved the way to the ouster of then President of the Republic of the Philippines, Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos through the famous “People’s Revolution”.
Unrests among the sectors of the community followed and the National Capital Region has been under the pressing situation of massive demonstrations, rallies, and other civil disturbances brought about the assassination. So they need of additional Army troops in the NCR has been vital. With the outstanding mark of the unit as far as discipline is concerned coupled by its gallantry in action, Headquarters Philippine Army directed the Avengers to pull out from Samar Island to National Capital Region. On 22, October, 1983, exactly two months after the tragedy in Tarmac, the avengers moved out aboard an LST bound to South Harbor of Manila. It was on this part of its history that Avengers were named “BATTLE TOURIST” by no less than the commanding general of the 5th Infantry (STAR) Division, BGEN BENJAMIN G SANTOS.
THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
On 26 October, 1983, the Avengers were afforded with ceremonial welcome at the HPA Grandstand. During this affair, deserving enlisted personnel were awarded with appropriate medals commensurate to their deeds. These Enlisted Personnel were awarded and promoted by no less than the Commanding General, Philippine Army. After the ceremony, the unit was billeted at Headquarters Training Command, PA and was placed OPCON to contingency (MAAGAP) Brigade, PA. The MAAGAP Brigade then was the one responsible in addressing civil disturbances in Metro Manila.
To cope with the situation, the unit was trained in Civil Disturbance Course and one Company was designated as CDC unit. During the multi-sectoral demonstrations and rallies of Pro-Aquino, the CDC unit of the Avengers was dispatched to ensure peaceful and orderly group assembles. Other members of the unit were casually dispatched as buffer crowds during these activities. Simultaneously and in order to refresh the unit’s tactical capability, the unit again underwent retraining at its location. To the surprise of the trainors and the CG, PA himself, the Avengers passed the training with a rare rating of EXELLENCE. No other Infantry Battalion was able to surpass this academic excellence. CDC operations were continued until 29 May 1984 when the unit was pulled out from the National Capital Region and deployed in Central Luzon-Bical, Munoz, and Nueva Ecija. As a fitting recognition, the unit was selected to secure the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites in Baguio City, 1984.
CENTRAL LUZON “HOME SWEET HOME”
The Avengers arrived in Bical, Munoz, Nueva Ecija relieving 33rd Infantry Battalion under the 3rd Infantry Brigade (Separate), PA. After the briefing of the officers of the outgoing unit, the Avengers positioned themselves at the post left. The Avengers has an extended area of operations from Nueva Ecija to the boundary of Viscaya up to the mountains of Pangasinan. However, during one of its combat patrol, one (1) platoon under the late LT DIZON, was ambushed by heavily armed NPAs at Brgy Namunlandayan, Lupao, Nueva Ecija. During this particular incident, LT DIZON died due to gunshot wound and this had prompted the troops to open fire to the direction where suspected the NPAs were hiding, unaware that the house they were pounding upon holed in some civilians. And this has been popularly known the “LUPAO MASSACRE”. The situation could be not that worst if not of over publicity and politically motivated press and the emotionally affected sympathy of the people. But since it was proven during the investigation that there was really a firefight that ensued, the case has been closed and the civilians who died caught by cross fire were given due benefits of the government.
Nonetheless, the unit pursued its counter-insurgency operation in the mountains of Nueva Ecija and further cleared the area of the NPAs to include the busting of Marijuana plantation in the hinterlands of Capintalan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. With the toppling of the dictatorship of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos, the unit secured the Broadcast City, Channel 7 and the Celebrity Sports Plaza. During the People’s Revolution, the unit showed exemplary loyalty and dedication to duty as a model member of the Armed forces of the Philippines.
Further, the unit conducted search sand rescue operations for the Singaporean pilot whose plane crashed in the hinterland of Castaneda, Nueva Viscaya. The unit participated in the relief and rehabilitation operations during the strongest typhoon that hit Nueva Ecija in 1985. And it was on 10 December, 1985 when COL ROMEO B TARAYO was relieved by LT COL HONORATO FERRER.
But it could be noted that during the time of COL TARRAYO, some modification of the Avenger seal was done. As named by BGEN SANTOS, the “BATTLE TOURIST”, COL TARRAYO placed three diagonal stripes across the unit color representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao where the unit has successfully waged peace campaign effort. LT COL HONORATO FERRER was relieved by LT COL ESTRELLITO J ROMERO on 26 April 1987.
The feat of the Avengers was cut short when the unit was directed to move to assume new responsibility. On 27 February 1987, a year after the famous People’s Revolution, the unit pulled-out form Munoz, Nueva Ecija and proceeded to Fort Magsaysay.
WELCOME HOME FORT MAGSAYSAY, PALAYAN CITY
On 12 March 1987, the Avengers once again at its birthplace, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City. They were billeted at the Army Special Warfare Brigade (Airborne) at Sector IV. The area of the battalion was now the eastern part of Nueva Ecija. Their stay at Fort Magsaysay has not been long since they pulled-out again to occupy Imelda Valley, Palayan City. So on 26 April, 1987, the Avengers left Fort Magsaysay with a new battalion commander. LTC ROMERO was relieved by LTC MELCHOIR I ACOSTA JR on 01 May 1987.
PARTICIPATION IN COUP D’ ETAT
The unit settled at Imelda, Palayan City on 01 July, 1987. During these times, the newly installed president of the Republic of the Philippines was Her Excellency, Cory C Aquino. In view of principles advocated by some Officers in the AFP organization, series of coup attempts were planned but were aborted. But not on 28 August, 1987, when the bloody coup d’etat stages by the Reform of the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), YOU and SMF were launched. One Company of the unit was involved under the leadership of LTC MELCHOIR I ACOSTA JR and their destination was the General Headquarters, AFP. The Avengers were immediately relieved from Luzon Area as brought about by this incident. Those who participated which were almost half of its strength were left behind and detained on a naval ship. Likewise, LTC ACOSTA JR was relieved by LTC P DAGUDAG and led the Avengers all the way to Samar Island on 28 August 1987.
“LOVE IS SWEETER THE SECOND TIME AROUND” – SAMAR ISLAND-
On 28 September, 1987, a month after the bloody coup, the Avengers left Luzon area and proceeded to Samar Island on board a C-130 of the Philippine Air Force. On 29 September, 1987, the unit was transported to its new location- Lokilokon, Wright, Samar. Here, the Avengers was prompted to construct its Headquarters because the 56th Infantry Battalion, the unit which occupying the site was not as large as the troop. Likewise, the defense were strengthened and new technology of the Army, the Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) was constructed.
On 17 October, 1987, operating troops in a convoy aboard M-35 trucks were on their way at Bn Hqs from Calapi, Motiong, Samar after an intensified combat operation. Along the way at vicinity Brgy Conception, Motiong, Samar was ambushed by heavily armed CTs numbering about a hundred. Outnumbered, the troops returned fire, for almost an hour firefight, the troops heard the enemies shouting “SUMUKO NA KAMO, WARAY NA KAMU REINFORCEMENT”. At that juncture, the troops strafed fires to the direction of said voice, stand their defensive position and initiated counter-attack. This incident has inflicted 22 body counts and undetermined number of WIA on the enemy side that prompted the CTs to withdraw to avoid further casualties.
This has proven the tactical prowess of the Avengers and has a given lesson to the CTs. From then on, CTs on the area avoided frontal encounters with the Avengers not unless cornered. Nevertheless, another fateful event took place on 21 December 1987. Since the Yuletide Season was on the corner, Higher Headquarters has approved the release of Christmas breakers. By that time most of the Avengers were from Luzon. To cope with the limited days given during the break, the first breakers opted to board the ill- fated M/V Dona Paz. While on their way to Manila, the M/V Dona Paz collided with M/V Vector where 21 Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the of the unit period. On 09 March 1988, the unit transferred its Bn Hqs from Lokilokon to Brgy Cabong, Borongan, Eastern Samar to have a better control of its units.
By that time, Northeast District (NED) composed of seven (7) municipalities, was under the influence of the Communist/terrorists. This has been tagged as the sanctuary of the rebels due to its vast produce-coconut, rice, abaca, and root crops. Almost all of the hinter barangays comprising the area already has its own Barangay Revolutionary Council (BRC). The populace were sharing their communal farm, extorting its revolutionary taxes and began to cling the CT’s as the true protectors of their and properties. Through massive combat operations and conduct of Special Operations Team (SOT), gradually, these underground Organizations were dismantled. Subsequently, the populace has begun to trust the military and their confidence has been regained. These could not possible if not of the discipline and dedication of the troops while dealing with the people they swore to serve and protect.
THE ARTECHE ATTACK
Then, another ill-fated event occurred. It was on February 1990, the patrol base located Arteche, Eastern Samar was attacked by more or less three hundred (300) CT’s. The patrol base then was manned with a platoon size troop complemented with CAAs. Outnumbered, the troops were able to stand their grounds but due to lack of ammunitions and their line of communications were destroyed, the base was overrun. If not of its remoteness and immediate transportation inaccessibility, reinforcement was sent through helicopters but due to line constraints, to no avail. Pursuit operations were conducted to track down the perpetrators but the CT’s were able to blend with the civilians and had evaded the pursuing troop.
“BEST MANUEVER BATTALION” – 8TH INFANTRY DIVISION
On 01 March 1990, the Avengers had a new commander LTC DAGUDAG was relieved by MAJ LAUREANO P DULIN. By this time, the Avengers were relocated at Brgy Polangi, Taft, Eastern Samar to concentrate on the Northeast District. The unit continued its intensified TRIAD operations and through its meritorious display of tactical expertise, the Avengers were awarded by the 8TH Infantry Division, the BEST MANUEVER BATTALION in 1990 during the celebration of the Divisions Founding Anniversary.
With the launching of the LAMBAT- BITAG, the government has envisioned to end the insurgency problem through four (4) phases- CLEAR, HOLD, CONSOLIDATE AND DEVELOP. To be more capable of accomplishing the concept, the Avengers again transferred its Battalion Headquarters from Polangi, Taft, to Camp Picardo, Dolores, Eastern Samar. It was on this stage, when Communist terrorists in the area began to surface and surrendered to the unit. Knowing the situation uphill, the unit has intensified its intelligence and civil-military operations. Tactical interrogations revealed that the rebels were already losing grasp of their mass hence needed support, financially and morally were declining. Aware of the situation, the unit through its meager resources, was able to partake a 30-minute radio program at DYES Borongan purposely to air to these misguided brothers to return to the mainstream of the society. This also paved the way to the surrender of Rodrigo “KA DIGO” SUGALAN, whom was then the Secretary of the Northeast District, together with his men. They availed of the amnesty and Balik-baril program of the government. Although KA DIGO and his comrades did not personally surrendered to the unit to Gov. Lutgardo Barbo, still it has been so instrumental in the success of the negotiation.
8ID’S BEST BATTALION IN CMO
In 1992, he unit ha participated in 3 Brigade-directed operations, 10 Battalion-initiated and 5 Company initiated to include 735 small unit operations. This has resulted to 4 enemy killed, 2 apprehended, captured and 25 surrendered with 2 M-16s and 1 M1 Garand recovered. It was also during this year that the unit bagged the 8th Infantry Division’s BEST BATTALION IN CMO award for its unfailing efforts in pursuing its civil-military operations hand in hand with tactical maneuvers.
“HIGH TECH” GENERATION
On 18 October 1993, LTC DULIN was relieved by LTC ROBERT C GERVACIO. The Avengers continued to accomplish their mission. This was the time when the unit has placed itself into high technology breakthrough. The unit, with the efforts of LTC GERVACIO, introduced the use of computers to enhance the prompt submission and the accuracy of reports. This has been very instrumental uplifting the unit’s administrative function.
Under the able leadership of its new commander, the unit was able to clear the whole Northeast District. During the unit was able to conduct 7 battalion initiated operations, 4 company operations and 1,777 small unit operations. To complement its right hand effort, the unit has conducted 7 SOTs at 33 influenced barangays. These operations have neutralized 36 DTs that include DT leader Tito Gunda, the Secretary of SECCOM DRAGON, SFC2, of the Northeast District. Likewise, these efforts has accounted for the recovery of 2 M16s, 1 M14, 1 cal.30 M1 Garand, 1 cal .22 long barrel and several Home Made Shotgun (HMSG). With the clearing of the area, the unit placed its Area of Responsibility under consolidate and development phase of the “LAMBAT BITAG”.
In compliance of the project of the 8th Infantry Division which is the UNITY FOR PEACE, UNITY FOR PROGRESS or “UP, UP SAMAR” spearheaded by then BGEN RUPERTO A AMBIL JR, the unit has carried out its task of steering series of unifying activities such as the active participation of the LGUs, NGOs and other sectors of the community towards the goal of the project. Massive civic-actions were conducted benefiting almost 85 percent of the populace in its area of operation. With the progress of peace and order situation of the area, the unit began to solicit opinions and feedback from the local government in conformity with the vision of turning over the counter insurgency (COIN) problem to the Philippine National Police. But due to human resource and equipment constraints, the local governments in the area decisively negated the plan due. Skills and livelihood training were conducted at the Bn Hqs benefiting not only its personnel and dependents but also interested civilians in the locality.
With the vision of strengthening the fibbers of leadership among the youth, the Avengers hosted series of Sangguniang Kabataan Leadership Seminars attended by about two hundred fifty SK members of the whole Eastern Samar. Competent speakers from different agencies of the government to include NGOs were pooled to conduct the training.
With these humble accomplishments, the unit has consistently been a candidate for the BEST BATTALION OF THE4 PHILIPPINE ARMY award for two (2) consecutive years. And finally in 1994, during the Army 96th Founding Anniversary held at Headquarters Philippine Army, the Avengers bagged the most coveted award. During this affair, the COMMANDING GENERAL’S PLAQUE OF MERIT was handed to LTC GERVACIO and the PHILIPPINE ARMY STREAMER AWARD was added to the unit’s color.
THE AVENGERS OF THE 90’S
On 16 August 1995, LTC GERVACIO was relieved by then MAJ CELSO S SILVESTRE JR. With the legacy of famous commanders, the new Commanding Officer, strive hard to make even with the accomplishment made by this predecessors. During the years, the unit has escalated its efforts thus participated in 1 Division initiated operations, 6 Brigade directed operations, 23 Battalion initiated operations, 13 company initiated operations and 3, 783 small units operations. In coordination with the Non-Formal Education Provincial Office, the unit was able to train Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS) teacher-soldiers. These ALPS teacher-soldiers were able to conduct ALPS classes in 15 barangays with a total of 733 adults and out of school youths in the hinter barangays.
With the continuing thrusts of the government to uplift the development in countryside, in 1996, the Army’s Concern for Community Organizing and Development project the acronym ACCORD was launched. Several Officers and Enlisted Personnel were carefully selected to undergo the training. With acquires skills and expertise of the community organize this elite group of Officers and EP were task to put into realization their training. Fortunately indeed the unit was able to organize four (4) barangays and transform them to a well-oiled and smooth functioning team geared toward development and progress the unit received praises and adulation due to its untiring and dedicated service to the people under its area of responsibility.
SECOND RETRAINING-CAMP PICARDO, DOLORES, EASTERN SAMAR
With the Philippine Army’s current thrust of transforming different units/ battalion to learn the mean fighting unit, the Avengers undergo its second Battalion Retraining at it Bn Hqs at Camp Picardo, Dolores, Eastern Samar. Unlike its first retraining which was purely on counter-insurgency tactics, this time the unit was trained of different tactical strategy in waging conventional warfare. Worthy to note is the high mark earned by the unit during the Battalion Evaluation Scenario conducted by the Mobile Training Team of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Philippine Army.
On October 1997, the unit was luckily chosen to participate in the Visayas Command Rapid Deployment Force Exercise Codenamed “PELICAN”. The unit was tasked as the main Player Unit in the exercise. The main task of the Avengers is to conduct amphibious assault operation in the shorelines of Dulag, Leyte. This is the first time that an Army Battalion participated in amphibious operation exercise. In this exercise, the unit was congratulated by no less than the Chief of Staff, GEN ARNULFO ACEDERA AFP for excellent performance. LTC CELSO S SILVESTRE JR was relieved by MAJ ALEX N ALBANO on 17 Nov 1997.
At present the Avengers are still here in Dolores. Its experiences from different situation in the past have been fruitful. They can easily adapt to changing trends that are vital in accomplishing its mission. They shall always behind its commitment of serving the people it protects and preserving the hard earned democracy. To its personnel, its commitment to address their morale, welfare and discipline have always been its priority. With the blessings from the almighty God which the unit unfailingly been grateful, the avengers shall always be partner for peace, progress and development towards Philippines 2000.
LTC ALEX N ALBANO was relieved on 12 January 2001 and designated MAJ ELY G HERMOSA as the Officer in- charge of the unit. After three (3) months of MAJOR HERMOSA with the unit. Turned over Ceremony was set 20 April 2001 and installed MAJOR AURELIO B BALADAD as the Commanding Officer of the 14th Infantry (AVENGER) Battalion MAJOR BALADAD was the author in formulating the Army CARES Program of the Philippine Army. While commanding this unit he made a study on the modification of Army CARES Program and was implemented in the DT affected barangays our area through Modified Special Operation Team (MSOT) with two operations conducted in the municipality of Maslog and Dolores all of Eastern Samar. The Army revised CARES Program was submitted to Higher Headquarters for study.
On 11 January 2002 LTC AURELIO B BALADAD (INF) PA was relieved and initially installed MAJ FELIX ESPERA (INF) PA as Officer in –charge of the unit. After eleven (11) days of MAJ ESPERA (INF) with the unit, turned Over Ceremony was set on 21 January 2002 and installed, LTC FELICITO VIRGILIO M TRINIDAD JR as the Commanding Officer of the 14th Infantry (AVENGER) Battalion.
Six days after the turn –over, Alpha Coy under CPT RAMON FLORES successfully over run an enemy encampment at vic Brgy San Andres, Borongan, eastern Samar which resulted to the recovery of several, high powered firearms and the captures two minor recruits ages 14 – 17. Accordingly they were bare a month old with the NPA. This feat prompted the enemies to conduct offensive to our troops, which they successfully executed a month later. On the fateful 15th of June 2000, the enemies employed their usual tactics wherein they created a scenario by killing an alleged military informant at Brgy Libertad, which prompted the CO of Bravo Company LT LEBIG to send his troops for investigation. Acting in good faith, to help the civilians, a section beefed-up by CAFGU’s went sent to investigate however somewhere along the way they were ambushed by more or less 200 NPA guerillas. Troops incurred heavy casualty of eight (8) (BC), one 1 WIA. Although they suffered great casualty the heroism and bravery displayed by SSg Tolentino and CAA “Mado” who gallantry stood their ground and wait for reinforcement showed the will to fight of every member of this unit which prompted the enemy to withdraw on different directions carting away several high powered firearms and radio of dead troops. With battalion initiated pursuit operation, which lasted for several months however to no avail the troops were not able to engage the enemy decisively. Studying the situation, LT COL BALADAD then maid an experiment by introducing to modified special operations teams (MSOT) which aims to help the local government bring the basic services to the Barangays at the same time cracking the political organization established by the enemies. It yielded positive result in which became the basis of creating the Re-engineered special operation team (RSOT). This strategy was later presented to higher headquarters and was further adopted by the ARMY. Another highlight of this term is the establishment of the first ever Area Coordinating Council
(ACC) in the Philippines in compliance to the EO.
The unit also participated in one (1) Division operation, five (5) brigade operation and initiated (15) battalion operations eighteen (18) company operations and two thousand two hundred ninety seven (2,297) small unit operations which resulted to engagement and recovery of several high powered and low powered firearms, neutralization of five (5) DT personalities and eight (8) enemy camps neutralized. The unit was also mobilized during the national and local election.
On the 11th of January 2002 LTC AURELIO B BALADAD (INF) PA was relieved by MAJOR FELIX ESPERA (INF) PA as officer in-charge of the unit he was further relieved by LTC FELICITO VIRGILIO M TRINIDAD JR as the commanding officer of this unit on the 21st of January 2002.
The term of LTC TRINIDAD is capitalized on the intensified campaign of the government against terrorist groups. The first six month was focused on the continued operation on the CT’s and the area until the eruption of the Mindanao campaign on the Abu Sayyaf group.
PULL OUT OF THE AVENGERS FROM EASTERN SAMAR
AND DEPLOYMENT TO PROVINCE OF SULU
On 10 June 2002, the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, 8ID, PA under the leadership of LTC FILICITO VIRGILIO M TRINIDAD JR was pulled- out from 8th Infantry Division AOR in Eastern Samar was deployed to Sulu and placed OPCON with 104th Bde, 1ID, PA. This was due to the intensified kidnapping, terrorism and other criminal activities perpetrated by the Abu Sayaff Group in the province of Sulu that severely affected the country’s peace and order and economic stability. As one of the priority concern of the national government to neutralize these terrorist activities, the AFP launched campaign plan “Endgame II” which aimed to decimate the Abu Sayaff Group specifically in the province of Sulu. In accordance with the said AFP Campaign Plan, the 104th Bde, to which this unit was placed on OPCON, vigorously launched tactical offensive against the ASG as contained I its Campaign Plan “Daylight II” “ Hurricane” and, later “Tatlong Buwan” Thus the unit’s operational activities in Sulu focused more on the neutralization and destruction of the ASG and the Misuari Breakaway Group (MBG) In accordance with the Bde’s Campaign Plan, the unit was mainly utilized as a maneuver/strike force unit with no specific Area of Operation AOR. With this concept, the unit was given the mission to conduct combat operation in the province of Sulu to destroy/neutralized ASG/MBG and to rescue the remaining hostages in order to establish a physically and psychologically secured environmental conducive for development.
The one – year experience of our troops in SULU is not that sweet. We have lost two comrades Cpl Galano of Bravo Coy at an encounter at the famous Mt Tucay and SSg Danilo Flores of Charlie Company at an incidental mortar fire which landed at the operating troops killing him on the spot and wounding eight others. However the tide was turn to our troops favor as in the onset of 2003. Bravo Company under 2LT ARVIN TENORIO started the continuous troop’s engagement and firearms recovery. Charlie Company under 1LT NICOLAS BEJEMINO also followed perfecting a raid and reinforcing friendly unit recovering 15 high-powered firearms and inflicting several body counts on the enemies. Not to be outshined Alpha Company under 1LT HECTOR P DONGAIL did its share when it encountered more or less 150 ASG member engaging them on two-hours thirty five minutes firefight which resulted to the recovery five (5) high powered firearms and inflicting three (3) BC and undetermined wounded to the enemy
Over all result of operation conducted, the unit had eight (8) engagement with the ASG/MBG resulting to two (2) KIA and twelve (12) WIA on the government side while six (6) killed (BC) and undetermined number wounded on the enemy side. These operations also resulted to the recovery of twenty five (25) HPFA’s (11 M14, (6) M16, 3 M653, 1 M79, 2 M1 Garand rifle, 1 Cal 45, 2 ICOM handheld radios and assorted magazines filled with ammunition) and the recovery of ten (10) ASG/MBG camps/safe houses.
“BALIK BAYAN” TO DOLORES EASTERN SAMAR
On the 28th of June 2003 the unit was pulled out from Jolo Sulu and Re- Deployed again Samar to avenge the casualties incurred by 52IB on the attack perpetrated by the CT’s on one of its patrol base killing five (5) regular, ten CAA’s and a dependent. Aboard C130 the first batch of troops landed Tacloban Airport while the other half boarded the LST and landed at the port of Tacloban City three days later. The unit later was given the northern Municipalities of Eastern Samar as its area of responsibility relieving in – place the troops of “A” Company, 52nd Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army. True to its name the troops immediately launched an operation in which in one of its combat operation, one section under 2LT VICTOR TELERON PA encountered heavily armed CT’s at So Canmaanghit, Brgy Salvacion Can-avid, Eastern Samar. During this particular incident, Pvt Bullos PA was hit at right foot ankle but inflicted one (1) KIA, undetermined number of WIA to the enemy side while recovering voluminous subversive documents.
ORAS, EASTERN SAMAR
NEW HOME OF THE AVENGERS
On 11 August 2003, LTC CLAUDIO C NERI FA (GSC) PA assumed the command of the battalion, relieving LTC FELICITO VIRGILLO M TRINIDAD JR INFANTRY (GSC) PA. with the exemplary leadership of the unit’s new commander, the unit continued its effort in conducting triad operations thereby resulting to encouraging reactions from the local populace of Eastern Samar. Noticingly, Avenger’s are loved by the ‘estehanons’ and feared by the enemies.
On the 2nd week of September 2003, the unit began establishing its new headquarters. Likewise, line companies also began to establish their company command post. By November of 2003 the unit had finished constructing and occupying their Headquarters and has been tactically deployed at Brgy Dao, Oras, Eastern Samar, covering the northern portion of the province beginning from Taft. However, before the year ended, the unit had assumed responsibility over the central portion of Eastern Samar, thereby extending the unit’s area of responsibility from Borongan to Jipapad all of eastern Samar.
COMINGS AND GOINGS IN 2004
During the 1st quarter of 2004, the unit concentrated its efforts in regaining the trust and confidence of the people by participating in community development activities and other civil military efforts. During this period, the troops had conducted SOT operations in the hinterlands and influenced barangays of Borongan.
On 04 June 04, SOT operators of Bravo Company under LT MANUEL, the officer-in-charge- were ambushed by more or less 25 CTs at Brgy San Pablo, Borongan, Eastern Samar, which resulted to two (2) KIAs on the government side, namely; Pfc Verdeflor PA and Pvt Erato PA and the loss of one (1) M16 and one (1) M14 rifle. After the ambush of Bravo company, on 12 June 04, Pltn under 1LT SOLIS PA CO of “A” Coy encountered heavily armed CT’s at San Roque – Tugas Complex of Maslog Eastern Samar that resulted to one (1) KIA body count on the enemy side recovery of two(2) hand grenades and voluminous subversive documents. During this incident Cpl Solayao PA was fatally wounded and later declared KIA due to internal hemorrhage. On 02 July 04, during a battalion initiated operation, operating troops of HHSVCo under LT TANIZA encountered more or less 20 CTs at Brgy Cagloan, Dolores, E. Samar, which resulted of one (1) KIA body count on the enemy side and recovery of one (1) M16 rifle, one (1) air gun and one (1) homemade shot gun, the CTs fled towards the direction of the operating troops of Bravo Company under 2LT DAGURO PA and 2LT BAUTISTA PA, at this instance the firefight lasted for several minutes and the enemies scampered to different direction; however, LT DAGURO was fatally wounded and later declared dead due to loss of blood during the evacuation. These series of encounters initiated by the government troops in the AOR. prompted some of their top leaders and other CT members went on lie low and back to the folds of the law. On 01 August 04, a certain Jaime Nebril Ambida Aka Teroy/Kiko CO Banog pltn NEF EVRPC and his fiancée Jenifer Lazarra Agno Aka Liezel Asst VCO/ED, Banog Pltn, NEF, EVRPC Voluntarily surrendered this unit with One (1) M16 rifle and One (1) 357 revolver. Another one (1) M16 rifle was also recovered by our operating troops from the former safe house of said CTL at brgy Buntay, Oras, E. Samar. On 28 November 04, a certain Gregorio Tadeos Aka Amir/Karis/ Oyong Sec PWAC PC-ESPPC EVRC was captured by this unit headed by LTC CLAUDIO C NERI FA (GSC) PA at Calbayog, City. The capture of CTL Tadeos put the CT’s organization in Dilemna.
Over all result of operation conducted during 2004, the unit participated and conducted combat operations and other small unit operations, employing its three (3) rifle companies complemented by recon platoon of HHSVC. These operations resulted to eight (8) engagement with the CT’s, undetermined WIA to the enemy side, three (3) body counts on the enemy side, recovery of five (5) M16 rifles, one (1) US M1 Garand, one (1) 357 revolver two (2) .38 pistol, one (1) 12 gauge shot gun, eleven (11) improvise homemade shot gun, five (5) claymore mines, three (3) hand grenades, personal belongings, subversive documents with high intel value and eight (8) abandoned CT camps were also discovered.
On 03 October 2005, LTC WILSON M LEYVA INFANTRY (GSC) PA assumed the command of the battalion, relieving COL CLAUDIO C NERI FA (GSC) PA.
Present, the unit’s newly install Bn Commander, continue lead the Battalion in accomplishing its mission with the leadership and innovations of our very able Bn commander, the legacy of the Avenger Continues.
ONCE AN AVENGER ALWAYS AN AVENGER…
GO AVENGER GO!!!
LINEAGE OF COMMANDERS
14TH BATTALION COMBAT TEAMS
LTC ERASTO BATONGMALAQUE
LTC FELIMON REODICA
LTC RUSTICO MUEGO
LTC NICANOR GARCIA
LTC ALFONSO P PALENCIA
LTC SILVINO DE GOMA
MAJ FEDERICO OLORES
COL NICANOR T JIMENEZ
14TH INFANTRY BATTALION
(1973 - PRESENT )
GENERAL SALVADOR M MISON
GENERAL LISANDRO C ABADIA
LT GEN RAMEO A PADIERNOS
MAJOR FELIPE V CORLONCITO ( DECEASED)
BGEN RAMEO B TARRAYO
COL HONORATO FERRER
COL ESTRILITO J ROMERO
LTC MELCHOR I ACOSTA
COL ALFONSO P DAGUDAG
LTC LAUREANO P DULIN
COL ROBERT C GERVACIO
LTC CELSO S SILVESTRE JR
LTC ALEX N ALBANO
LTC AURELIO B BALADAD
LTC FELICITO VIRGILIO M TRINIDAD
COL CLAUDIO C NERI
LTC WILSON M LEYVA
LTC JOSE P MATIAS (TO DATE)