Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur – The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion celebrates its 38th Founding Anniversary this January with a theme: “Matapat @ 38: Mapagkakatiwalaan at Maaasahan, Kaagapay sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran”.
As part of the celebration, the 53IB conducted a Gratitude March on January 25, 2023, in Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur. During the event, the 53IB showcased its capabilities in terms of manpower, equipment and armament, and its preparedness in disaster response while marching around the town center.
The march was participated by over 400 people, including Matapat troops led by 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Terence P. Ylanan, the Guipos Philippine National Police led by PLt. Elven Rosales, Army’s 547th Engineer Battalion Disaster Response Operation Team led by 1Lt. Jojo Joseph, and Guiposanons and Local Government Unit of Guipos led by Hon. Mayor Vicente Cajeta. The Friends Rescued, former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People Army – National Democratic Front, also joined the march signifying their desire to help achieve lasting peace.
The march aimed to showcase cooperation, convergence, and collaboration among the military, other government agencies, the local chief executive, and civil society.
Mayor Cajeta also shared the positive impact of the unit on peace and order in the municipality. “Whereas in 1980’s, I saw the New People’s Army parade around town, while now, it is already the legitimate Armed Forces of the Philippines who can do so,” he said. He likewise expressed his gratitude to the 53IB not only for the stable peace and order but also for its contributions to the economic progress of Guipos. “We are truly partners for peace and development,” Mayor Cajeta said.
Lt. Col Ylanan expressed his gratefulness to the people of Guipos for their support of the unit, saying, “We feel blessed by the people’s hospitality and warm welcome ever since the unit was redeployed here. We have witnessed how they also appreciated the presence of the 53IB as we marched around the town. This inspires us to work harder.”
“The 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion continues to serve as a reliable and dependable partner in maintaining peace and order in the province of Zamboanga del Sur,” Lt. Col. Ylanan said.