1st Infantry Division fetes Zamboanga Sibugay Mayors’ League

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(ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay)

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) -- A testimonial parade and review in honor of the Mayors League of Zamboanga Sibugay was held yesterday at Camp Major Cesar Sang-an, home to the army’s premier division, the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division (1ID).

As the local chief executives were trooping the line with MGen Gerardo F. Barrientos Jr., 1ID commander, their role as leaders were cited. For one, the mayor is an important community leader promoting positive relationships and good governance and the spokesperson on economic issues, or when the community is under stress such as disaster management and other crisis.

“This is an expression of our gratitude to their untiring support in our mission accomplishment as well as for their strong cooperation as stakeholders in achieving a peaceful and progressive Zamboanga Sibugay,” Col. Jacinto R. Bareng, chief of staff, said in his welcome message.

“We have attained a significant mark in our vision for Zamboanga Sibugay when it was declared conflict-manageable and development-ready province on 24 November 2014. It then enhanced the relationship between the local government unit, Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in putting to an end the various threats present in the community,” Bareng emphasized.

He added that it also strengthened and capacitated the local PNP to take primary responsibility in terms of peace, security and public safety. As an offshoot, the level of insurgency in the province has decreased through the years.

Zamboanga Sibugay Mayors League President Mayor Anamel C. Olegario of Ipil acknowledged and thanked MGen Barrientos, Col. Nixon M. Fortes, commander of the 102nd Infantry “IGSOON” Brigade, and the Tabak troopers for the honor given to them.

“On behalf of the Mayors League, I thank you for this honor. This is the first time and the only time that we were given such recognition. Tumitindig ang mga balahibo ko (I was having goosebumps) while we were trooping the line. Nakakataba ng puso ang ginawa ninyo sa amin,” (What you did was so heartwarming) Mayor Olegario said filled with emotion.

“We salute the professional men and women who represent our first line of insurance. Mag unsa nalang mi ug wala mo? (What would we do without you?) All of us mayors know that with the army behind us, we could achieve lasting peace and security in Zamboanga Sibugay,” Mayor Olegario said positively.

Highlighting the activity was the distribution of plaques and certificates to the local chief executives for the assistance and support through good governance which greatly attributed to the success of the command’s internal peace and security operations in the spirit of Bayanihan.

Barrientos lauded the remarkable achievements of the LCEs and the strong partnership with the army. “I know that you are facing many challenges as LCEs, from political, social to economic struggle, to make your municipality a better place to live,” the commanding general said.