LOPE DE VEGA, Northern Samar– Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino was among the local chief executives awarded as active partners in peace and development by the 63rd Infantry Battalion during their 17th founding anniversary celebration last March 30. Mayor Aquino, regional chairman of Peace and Order Council, personally received the award from Major General Jet Velarmino, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, and the guest of honor and speaker during the anniversary program.He was assisted by Col. Hermenigildo Francisco Aquino, commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade.

The 63rd IB, whose area of operations covers Calbayog City’s Tinambacan and Oquendo districts and under the command of Lt. Col. Carmelito Pangatungan, is under the operational control of the 803rd IB which is based in Catarman, Northern Samar. Other mayors whose municipalities are within the area of operations of the 63rd IB were also given recognition. In his message, Maj. Gen. Velarmino said that it was “only fitting that we share the limelight of 63rd Infantry Battalion’s anniversary with our friends and supporters, for our success is as much as yours as they are ours”.

Velarmino likewise thanked them for taking time to witness and participate in this meaningful celebration.Pangatungan, meanwhile, said that giving recognition to the mayors and their other partners in achieving peace and order in the area within the 63rd IB was just right. “Indeed, I really look forward to this anniversary celebration for other than taking a break in our daily activities, this is also the proper time to recognize our local government leaders who partner with us in nation-building and contribute immensely to the successful conduct of AFP operations and initiatives in this part of the country,” Pangatungan said.

The 63rd IB was established April 1, 1998, and this year’s founding anniversary celebration, Pangatungan added, only signifies that they are on the “upper hand” in their campaign as they have the ability to influence the situation and choose when to carry on the fight.