CAMP Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City–After seventeen months of leading the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army, Major General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr. has finally turned over the command responsibility to Major General Ronald C. Villanueva during the change of command early yesterday at the 4ID headquarters.
The ceremony was graced by the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Lieutenant General Glorioso V. Miranda and was attended by the different Local Chief Executives, Tribal Chieftains, Regional Directors, and distinguished guests from Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions.
Looking at Madrigal’s term, the Division has achieved numerous breakthrough results. A total of 239 NPAs were either surrendered, captured, or died during the combat operations; recovered 243 assorted firearms and 125 Improvised Explosive Devices; arrested 140 drug personalities; and recovery of different types of illegal drugs with a total market value of P41 million during the support to law enforcement operations.
He is the proponent of the Bayanihan Oversight and Advisory Committee (BOAC). This is a Whole-of-Government in action where everybody is empowered and focused on addressing the concerns in conflict-affected areas. Likewise, it is the venue for all concerned agencies to direct and focus their programs for the people with the same targets and timelines. It is composed of different local chief executives, agency heads, local leaders, PNP, and the AFP and it is established in almost all municipalities and cities in the two regions.
All these efforts and achievements have paved way to the clearing of a total of 568 barangays in the two regions.
Likewise, he was able to bring the Division to greater heights as it achieved the fourth and final stage of the Army Governance Pathway which is the Institutionalized Status. The 4ID is the first Philippine Army major unit to have achieved such status with a Gold Trailblazer award after passing the re-validation on June 5 this year at the Headquarters Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The award was formally given by Lt. Gen. Miranda during yesterday’s ceremony.
For his part, Villanueva is the Chief of the AFP’s Intelligence Service before seating as the 41st Commander of the 4ID. He is a well-decorated and well-rounded Army General which qualifies him to hold such position.
His Command positions are the following:
Company Commander under the 53rd Infantry Battlation in 1987;
Commanding Officer of the 28th Infantry Battalion in 2003 and later lead the 26th Infantry Battalion until 2005; and
Commander of 1002nd Infantry Brigade stationed in Sarangani Province from 2014 to 2016.
Villanueva’s strategic posts would later on take him to the Department of National Defense where he served as Group Commander of the Defense Intelligence and Security Group from 2007 until 2010 before orchestrating the affairs of the Counter Intelligence Division of the AFP’s OJ2 from 2010 to 2011.
He has also served as head of the Faculty Department of the AFPCGSC in 2012. Earning the distinction of having delved in many military disciplines and mastering them all, he became Chiefs of Staff of both the 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions from 2012 to 2014.
Villanueva is a proud Mindanaon who has been tested by years of experience and right schooling both in Military Schools and Civilian Academic Institutions. He is a Scout Ranger, a combat diver, an expert marksman, an Infantry and Intelligence Officer with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Xavier University, a Master’s Degree in National Security from the National Defense College of the Philippines and a Diploma in International Development and Security from the Development Academy of the Philippines.
The two men of the hour are both members of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985.