In celebration of its 47th Founding Anniversary, Philippine Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas visited the 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) to award its deserving troops and to give gift packs to former rebels (FRs) in a simple event held at 53rd IB Headquarters, Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on on November 6, 2020.
Fifteen (15) Matapat Troopers were awarded the Military Commendation Medal (MCM) for their meritorious achievement, selfless service, and dedication to duty, which immensely contributed to the accomplishment of the higher headquarters’ mission.
68 FRs in 53IB received gift packs sponsored by local government units and stakeholders of the 102nd Brigade. The gift packs aimed to give the FRs food security especially during this time of pandemic.
Brig. Gen. Nicolas also awarded two of its outstanding stakeholders for their continued support in order to achieve a sustainable and lasting peace in the Brigade’s area of responsibility.
In his welcome remarks, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera thanked Brig. Gen. Nicolas for his visit and apprised him of the unit’s current thrusts and efforts in ending local communist armed conflict and pursuit of peace.
“I would like to thank our Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Nicolas for his visit, continuous support, and for providing motivation and inspiration to our troops and the Battalion,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Lt. Col. Herrera assured Brig. Gen. Nicolas that the morale and welfare of the Matapat Troopers are both well taken care of.
“We continue to balance the troops’ morale and welfare and the accomplishment of the unit’s mission. We conduct various trainings to prepare them in all aspects, because we believe that a well-trained and well-motivated soldier is the best weapon against the enemy,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.
In his message, Brig. Gen. Nicolas recognized the 53IB’s efforts and gladly informed Lt. Col. Herrera that the 53IB garnered the highest score among its operationally-controlled units in the recently-concluded Annual General Inspection (AGI) for the year 2020.
“Truly, you continue to live by your motto ‘Excellence is our way of life’ and ‘Matapat sa Paglingkod.’ Garnering the highest score in the AGI truly manifests your excellence in every aspect of Army operations,” Brig. Gen. Nicolas said.
“Thank you [Lt. Col. Herrera] for taking care of 53rd IB. Continue to serve as a motivation and inspiration to your men so you could achieve more,” Brig. Gen. Nicolas said.