The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) in partnership with the Municipal Government of Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, has inaugurated a 600-meter concrete road named in honor of Lt. Col. Dennis B. Villanueva, former Commanding Officer of 53IB who was killed-in-action (KIA) in Jolo, Sulu during the Panamao Offensive against the Misuari Breakaway Group.
As part of the 53IB’s 36th Founding Anniversary Celebration with the theme: “MATAPAT@36: Remember with Gratitude. Renew with Passion,” the inauguration and formal turnover to Barangay Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur was held in a simple ceremony on January 22, 2021 at the 53IB Headquarters Camp Major David P. Sabido.
Municipal Ordinance No. 2021-03 was attested by Guipos Municipal Vice Mayor Junevell S. Oraiz-Lamiing and approved by Guipos Municipal Mayor Engr. Vicente P. Cajeta on January 19. 2021.
Ordinance No. 2021-03 states: “An Ordinance naming the 600-meter road from Pagadian-Margosatubig Highway leading to the 53IB Battalion Headquarters at Camp Sabido, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur as Lt Col Dennis B Villanueva Road.”
LTC Villanueva, a member of Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986, was a former 53IB Battalion Commanding Officer from November 29, 2004 until his ultimate demise on February 10, 2005 after enemy mortar fires in Jolo, Sulu.
The 600-meter road from Pagadian-Marosatubig Highway leading to the Battalion Headquarters of 53IB was name to commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of LTC Villanueva.
“The road bearing LTC Villanueva’s name is in appreciation for his ultimate bravery that will always be remembered and for his contributions as to what the 53IB has become today,” current 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar A. Herrera said.
During the inauguration and turnover program, the Guest of Honor and Speaker (GOHAS) was Lakewood Municipal Mayor Domingo V. Mirrar, who is also the President of Municipal Mayors’ League of Zamboanga del Sur.
“I am very grateful for 53IB and all who took the initiative in concreting this road. The people living nearby will greatly benefit from the improved concrete road,” Mayor Mirrar said.
Mayor Mirrar received a plaque of appreciation from Lt. Col. Herrera. Mr. Eleazar C. Carcallas and Mr. Elmer M. Soronio also received a plaque of recognition for providing construction materials and equipment needed for the successful road construction.
Also present during the ceremony were the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) Guipos Municipal Vice Mayor Junevell S. Oraiz-Lamiing, Guipos Sanguniang Bayan (SB) Members, Poblacion, Guipos Barangay Captain Gerry N. Olaier and Purok Leaders Jerry Repal, Rodolfo Talaba, Marites Refolledo, Hilda Alangcas, Esther Robledo.
Fr. Mark Anthony Tampos, OSA, Guipos Parish Priest blessed the newly-named road.