To express its appreciation and thankfulness to the people, the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) held a Gratitude Parade in Guipos town, Zamboanga del Sur on December 14, 2020.

Accompanied by Philippine National Police personnel from Guipos Municipal Police Station, the Matapat Troopers marched around Barangay Poblacion of Guipos to exhibit 53IB’s forces, military vehicles, and capabilities including its Disaster Response Team and Sniper Squad.

The 53IB Headquarters is located in the said barangay.

According to Guipos Mayor Vicente Cajeta, it was the first time a ‘Gratitude Parade’ was held in the municipality. The residents of Guipos said they were amazed to see such a parade of military display for the first time.

53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the Gratitude Parade is “simply the battalion’s expression of being thankful and to demonstrate our readiness to show our appreciation for and to return the kindness of the people to their soldiers.”

“Guipos and other municipalities in our area of operations have always been supportive of the 53IB’s mission, endeavors, and campaign against Communist-Terrorist Groups and lawless groups,” he said.

“The Gratitude Parade was not only for the people of Guipos, but for the whole province of Zamboanga del Sur and beyond. This is your Army — an Army that the people we have sworn to protect can be proud of,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.

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