Six troopers from the 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion (53IB) and seven members of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliaries (CAAs) were recognized by the Commander of Philippine Army’s (PA) 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division (1ID).
Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, 1ID Commanding General, recognized the 53Ib troopers and CAFGU CAAs in a simple ceremony during his visit to the headquarters of 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion at Camp Major David P. Sabido, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur (ZDS) on May 20, 2020.
The 53Ib troopers, one officer and five enlisted personnel, were awarded with the Military Merit Medal as recognition for their accomplishments on May 11, 2020, during an encounter against the New People’s Army (NPA) Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTG) in Midsalip, ZDS where two NPA members were killed and two AK-47 rifles were recovered.
The 53IB Troopers gave the said two NPA members a decent burial on May 12, 2020.
Maj. Gen. Ponio commended the unit and its troops for the recent accomplishments and its contributions in maintaining the peace and order in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Your efforts, valuable contributions and accomplishments will always be recognized by this Command. Let us continue with our relentless efforts in attaining our objectives while maintaining the level of excellence in everything we do,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.
“You have stayed true to your maxim that excellence is not your standard but your way of life,” Maj. Gen. Ponio added.
The CAFGU CAAs members were recognized for their dedication to our beloved country in 30 years of faithful service and invaluable assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in dealing with the security threats and maintaining local peace and order.
Lt Col Jo-ar Herrera, Commanding Officer, 53IB welcomed and thanked the Tabak Commander for his visit.
“It is an honor and priviledge having a commander who looks for the morale and welfare of the troops,” Lt Col Herrera said.
The awarding ceremony was also attended by Col. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander, PA; Guipos, ZDS Mayor Vicente P. Cajeta, Poblacion, Guipos, Barangay Chairman Jerry Olaier.