The Philippine Army’s 54th Engineer Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Anthony Cacayuran visited 53rd IB Headquarters in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on October 24, 2020, after inspecting the construction of farm-to-market roads (FMRs) in the hinterland barangays of Datu Tutukan and Labangon in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.
The construction of FMRs is one of the efforts undertaken by Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB), in close partnership with the Army Engineers, to totally end the local communist armed conflict in its area of operations (AO).
Brig. Gen. Cacayuran’s visit included a unit briefing which was presented by 53rd IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera. Part of the briefing were the priority areas for development, FMR network, and updates on ELCAC in 53rd IB’s AO.
In his message, Brig. Gen. Cacayuran thanked the 53rd IB for actively involving the Army Engineers in its efforts to completely end the communist terrorism and insurgency.
He further encouraged 53rd IB to take advantage of [Army] Engineer units as force multipliers, as they are integral parts of Infantry units.
The contributions of Army Engineers in addressing the local communist armed conflict reinforce the legitimacy of Army Operations by addressing the recurring issues exploited by the CTGs such as the lack of farm-to-market roads and the lack of delivery of basic services, especially to hinterland barangays.
In response, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera thanked Brig. Gen. Cacayuran for inspiring the troops to continue their pursuit of peace.
“The 53rd IB is forever grateful to 54th Engineer Brigade under the able and competent leadership of Brig. Gen. Cacayuran,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“Their contributions helped the 53rd IB not just in addressing the insurgency, but also in countering the 5-decade-long narratives, deception, and propaganda of the Communist-Terrorist Groups,” Lt. Col. Herrera added.
Also present in 54th Engineer Brigade Commander’s visit are 547th Engineer Battalion Col. Emerito Pineda and 551st Engineer Battalion Lt. Col. Raymundo Rosario.