The Zamboanga del Sur provincial government has commended the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion for successful operations that resulted in the confiscation of assorted firearms from the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels operating in the province.
The commendation was made through a resolution authored by Provincial Board Member John Regala, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Committee on Fire, Public Safety, and Peace and Order.
In a statement Tuesday, Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Victor Yu said Regala’s resolution was based on the accomplishment report of the 53IB detailing its anti-insurgency campaign.
Yu noted that the 53IB recorded nine firefights against the NPA from May 6 to July 21 this year, resulting in the recovery of 14 assorted high-powered firearms.
The troops also managed to overrun 25 hideouts of the NPAs, mostly attributed to the tip-offs from the communities.
Regala said the 53IB’s “outstanding conduct of operation’s contributed immensely to the overall peace situation in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
“In their excellent and outstanding conduct of Army operations, with the seizure of high-powered firearms and capture of enemy hideouts, the 53IB prevented the NPA from committing atrocities targeting innocent civilians and vulnerable communities,” Regala said.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, commander of the 53IB, said the recognition would “serve as an inspiration to all the ‘Matapat’ troopers”. (Teofilo Garcia Jr., PNA)