By Philip Vincent B. Reyes
Team OKKA .
EXCEPT for his towering height, this man is a true gentleman.
But make no mistake, he is a decorated soldier who retired with a rank of major general.
Meet Kagawad Romeo Villalon Calizo, the right-hand man of Mayor Oscar S. Moreno when it comes to security affairs.
Although a neophyte local legislator, General Calizo was the veteran when the most serious security threat dawned on the city after the IS-inspired Maute terrorists took over Marawi City, leading to months of intense fighting and Mindanao declared under the State of Martial Law.
As the mayor’s point person for Peace and Development, General Calizo presided over the security planning and implementation to protect the city from terrorists. There was verifiable intelligence reports, the city was a target of attacks to diffuse the pressure they have encountered with escalated military attacks.
Like the mayor, General Calizo is a man of action. Less talk, more work.
As an experienced commander, he worked well with operating security forces from the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
General Calizo is also the co-chairperson of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac).
Under his leadership, he steered Cadac into a very effective organization in pushing for community-based drug rehabilitation, operated by the Oro Wellness Center, and at the same time coordinated closely with the PDEA and the PNP in anti-drug operations.
For that the Cadac of Cagayan de Oro has been awarded the Silver Award and is one of the benchmark city of the Dangerous Drugs Board which is overseeing President Duterte’s anti-drug war.
At the City Council, General Calizo is the chairman of the Police and Fire Safety Committee. He had made sure the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) gets its needed support from the local government.
He is happily married to Mary Cor Reyes Calizo, the long-time kapitana of barangay Patag.
A decorated soldier he was recipient of various medals and awards. He has five Distinguished Service Stars; five Military Merit Medals for Combat; 10 Military Merit Medals for non-combat; a Bronze Cross Medal, and a host of other military commendations and awards.
He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Batch of 1979.
His last assignment before retiring in August 2013 was commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division. Prior to that he was deputy chief of staff for operation or J3 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He held key staff and combat assignments in the AFP throughout his career.
General Calizo is a vital part of the Team OKKA for his expertise on security matters. He is seeking a second term as kagawad in the 1st district of Cagayan de Oro City.
For him, he doesn’t mind getting off retirement after long years of service to the country, as long as he contributes to making Cagayan de Oro safe.
Truly, with General Calizo, safe ang Cagayan de Oro. #CalizosafeCdeO.
(Philip Vincent B. Reyes is a member of Councilor Romeo Calizo’s campaign staff.)