The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) received Three (3) Campaign Streamers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines for dismantling the Communist Terrorist Groups of Western Mindanao Regional Party Community (WMRPC) including the Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU), HQ Kalaw, and Regional Urban Committee (RUC)-Regional Operational Command (ROC) during the Campaign Streamer Awarding Ceremony for the Year-End 2020 on February 26, 2021, at 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division (1ID), Camp Maj. Cesar Sang-an, Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.
The Commander of Western Mindanao Command (WMC) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Lt. Gen. Corleto S. Vinluan Jr. presented the battle streamers to the awardees for Brigade and Battalions, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support under the 1ID.
“To all the Commanders, down to the lowest member of the Team TABAK, congratulations for a job well done. Thank you for your untiring dedication and valuable contributions to the accomplishments of the WMC mission,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan said.
“I would also like to commend this success with the exceptional leadership of your Division Commander Maj. Gen. Gene M. Ponio and the very snappy Brigade Commander BGen. Leonel M. Nicholas,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan said.
With the Philippine government’s more serious efforts to finally end the armed communist insurgency perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), more intensified military operations against the rebels have greatly contributed to the depleting force of the CPP-NPA in the 1ID Area of Operations.
“Combat and non-combat operations effectively defeated the CPP-NPA forces. The combined Hard and Soft power initiatives have compelled many rebels who were tired, hungry, and confused to give up and surrender,” 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.
“The leadership of Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas of the 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade solidified the Philippine Army’s resolve in defeating the communist terrorists in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The guidance and inspiration of Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division has motivated and ignited the passion of troops and civilian partners in undertaking initiatives to end the local communist armed conflict in Western Mindanao,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.