Pagadian City Sees Peaceful, Secured Environments with 53IB Security Initiatives

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Pagadian City expressed optimism on peaceful and secured environments during the City’s Peace and Order Council Meeting, where the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) provided security updates, on March 16, 2021, at Pagadian City Hall.

Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co said he is thankful for the efforts of the Philippine Army to maintain peace and order in the city and he is willing to strengthen the partnership and cooperation with the 53IB toward progressive communities of his constituents.

With the dismantling of the three regional units of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur as the result of 53IB’s intensive combat and non-combat operations against the CPP-NPA along with strong partnerships in the LGUs, the Provincial Council has recently declared the Province as insurgency free and ready for further development. “Peace and order in Pagadian City is an essential ingredient in maintaining economic development, social order, and political stability.

A condition of peace and order facilitates the growth of investments, generates more employment opportunities, and attracts more tourists,” 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.

Presided by Mayor Co and attended by city and barangay officials, the meeting tackled peace and security issues and concerns including Army detachments installations, support to Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxillary (CAA) personnel, former NPA rebels from Pagadian City, and the Army’s upcoming community engagements in different barangays in Pagadian City including barangays Lisson Valley, Dampalan, and Lourdes.

Lt. Col. Herrera presented the proposed road constructions in Pagadian City that will connect Barangay Lisson Valley to 4 roads from the following barangays: (12.8-km) Gasa, Lakewood to Sitio Lanayan, Lakewood; (7.8-km) Barangay Duelic, Midsalip; (10.8-km) Barangay Libayoy to Barangay Mati to the Municipality of Tigbao; and (11.17-km) Purok Avocado in Barangay Lisson Valley to Sitio Gantao, Brgy Cabaloran to Centro Cabaloran Midsalip.

Lt. Col. Herrera also proposed to install a detachment at Barangay Muricay with 1 Enlisted Personnel and 21 CAAs to provide disruptions of mobility corridors of lawless elements in the area, easy accessibility for quicker responses in any untoward incidents, and rear security of Pagadian City Airport.

“I am willing that you will put a detachment in our area to maintain peace and order here in our barangay. As an Uztadz, I must take good care of my people that is why I am in close partnership with Mayor Co,” Muricay Barangay Captian Ever Mohaimen.

“I am very thankful for 53IB for keeping peace and order in our barangay and eliminating our worries and fears we have long felt toward the NPA rebels,” Dampalan Barangay Captain Erlenda Sandialan said.

“I am grateful to Mayor Co and Lt. Col. Herrera for providing improvements for the Army detachment in our barangay. The Army detachment is a great factor for maintaining peace and order in our area,” Lisson Valley Barangay Captain Joel Babayson said.

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