The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) and the Saint Columban College Pagadian City have pledged to take part in the peace and security campaign against CPP-NPA Deception during the symposium held on February 15, 2021 at Saint Columban College, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.
During the program, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col Jo-ar Herrera presented Five (5) books including: Crossing the Red Line, Leading from the Heart, The Wars Within, Conquering the Hills, Breaking Free (from Communist Deception), Marawi and Beyond to the President of the said State College.
The said books are narrations of actual accounts of young people’s fateful journeys who were once deceived (Breaking Free), rebellion, resilience, and redemption (Crossing the Red Line), the successful military campaigns against the communist terrorists in Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental (Conquering the Hills), documents the challenges, lessons learned, and triumphs of the Philippine Army during the Battle of Marawi (Marawi and Beyond), struggles of Former Top CPP-NPA-NDF Cadre (The Wars Within).
“We engage different schools because this is a learning institution where the youths are being molded and developed for a better life in the future. The students should know and understand the peace, security and the dynamics of the province where they live. Awareness is a shield and knowledge is power for them to be equipped about the deception strategies of the enemies in recruiting the young people,” Lt. Col Herrera said.
The Guidance Director of Saint Columban College, Dr. Maryjane B. Omandam emphasized the responsibility without forgetting the civilian’s responsibility as well in maintaining and upholding the national security in all aspects.
“The advocacies and ideals of Lt Col. Jo-ar Herrera of the Army’s 53IB and Saint Columban College’s core values are so intertwined in addressing National issues on poverty, social inequity, cultural biases, peace and security, environmental assault, and political bickering without forgetting the perennial corruption in the country. Our role in the academe is crucial in nation-building,” Dr. Omandam said.
The President of Grand Student Council, Trisha Agonoy said: “I’ve seen how soldiers sacrifice for peace and order in our country. We are very privileged to have the Army here extending activities in our school. We have felt your eagerness to inform us about the dangers brought by the enemies of our government and our nation.”
“Our eyes were opened to the situations because of your efforts to keep us informed. As a student leader and one of the young people in this province, it is also our duty to be aware. We will continue to uphold the peace in our community and associate it with our future activities,” Agonoy said.
The 53IB presented videos entitled “We are your Soldiers” and “From the Eagle’s Eye” showing the essence of Matapat Troopers as servant soldiers and explaining the leadership philosophy applied in the 53rd Battalion and how it created a significant impact on the way the Army fulfill its mandate to serve the people and secure the land for peace and progress.