MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – After months of rigorous training, 275 Candidate Soldiers graduate from 4th Division Training School (DTS) during a Joint Closing Ceremony earlier this day May 23, 2019 in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
The 275 new Philippine Army Privates are composed of two Candidate Soldier Courses, CS Cl-571 and CSC Cl-572.
According to Lt Col Jeff Villarosa, Commander 4DTS, both classes entered the military training 4th quarter last year and started their Jungle Warfare Mountain Operation Course (JWMOC) in April 2019.
Villarosa added that, “The 4ID now have 275 trained, strong, brave, responsible and equipped soldiers ready to serve our people and secure our sovereignty.”
Out of 275 new Privates, 154 are Indigenous People (IP) members where majority of them are from the Manobo and Higaonon tribes. 84 of the IP Privates are also former rebels.
Alyas Mike, 23 years old, an IP member from Higaonon Tribe in Bukidnon Province said, “Sa una palang ako ng gidamgo ug gipangandoy nga mahimong sundalo aron akoy mo protekta sa akong pamilya, kabanay ug katribu sa bukid batuk sa propaganda sa Teroristang NPA.” “I have always dreamt of becoming a soldier and be the one to protect my family, relatives and tribe in the mountains from the propaganda of the NPA Terrorists.”
Alyas Rios, a former Vice-Commander of the CNTs thanked the government for giving him and the other FRs a chance. “I have never regretted my decision to return to the folds of the law and so, I call on to those who are still in the mountains, there’s a better life waiting for you here and the NPA will never be able to give you a peaceful life.”
Also among the graduates were 38 deserving former CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) members who for years have volunteered to protect their community.
Maj Gen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander 4ID, welcomed the new members of the Diamond Troopers, “You are now officially soldiers, use the skills, knowledge and discipline which you have learned from DTS to protect our fellow Filipinos. Let us uphold our Honor, Patriotism and Duty to our beloved country.” “I also congratulate the 4DTS to a job well done, let us continue to produce world-class soldiers who have burning desires to fight for long-lasting peace in Mindanao,” Gacal added.
The 275 privates will be deployed to the different Infantry Units of 4th ID in order to continue the mandate of the Army which is “Serving the people, Securing the land”.