THE Armed Forces’ campaign against the communist New People’s Army in the Southern Tagalog area got a boost with 229 new soldiers who graduated from a four-month course last week.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the new soldiers, with rank of private, are a “welcome addition to our frontline units as we go all out for the government’s final push to finally put an end to the NPA terrorists’ insurgency.”
President Duterte wants the communists defeated before the end of his term in 2022.
The new soldiers graduated from the Candidate Soldier Course on Friday last week in rites at the 2nd ID headquarters in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.
Lt. Col. John Jadloc, commandant of the 2nd Division Training School (2nd DTS), said the new soldiers were trained on “the basic knowledge and skills of soldiery” and their characters developed, “making them ready to assume the role of being advocates of peace, servants of the people and defenders of Southern Tagalog.”
Capt. Jayrald Ternio, 2nd ID spokesman, said the new soldiers will be deployed in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon) regions which are l under the operational control of 2nd ID.
There are around 350 to 400 NPA rebels operating in the area of operations of the 2nd ID.
Ternio also said some of the soldiers will augment 2nd ID units which are deployed outside the division’s areas of operation in the Davao and Zamboanga provinces, Basilan, and Sulu.
The 2nd ID units in Davao, Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu are under the operational control of the 10th, 1st and 11th IDs but they remain under the administrative supervision of the 2nd ID.
Ternio said the soldiers are also trained and expected to perform non-traditional roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response during crises and calamities and conduct community-based programs and activities.
Burgos commended the 2nd DTS for successfully “re-orienting the happy-go-lucky teenage mentality of our soldier-applicants to the matured and disciplined military way of life.”
Burgos told the soldiers “to maintain the highest standards of soldiery as you dedicate your lives to serve our God, flag, country and people.”
“Today is the best time to become soldiers because aside from having a very supportive President and elected officials, we enjoy our people’s trust, confidence and support like never before,” said Burgos.