Former rebels turn soldiers go back to school

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DAVAO CITY — After years of holding firearms in the hinterlands, 14 former rebels turned soldiers, now hold pens to enrich themselves through Alternative Learning School (ALS) inside their camp in Barangay Dayoan, Tago, Surigao del Sur.

The soldiers are members of Manobo and Mamanwa tribes from the different communities of Surigao,  used to fight against the government forces but after they went back to the mainstream society, they joined  the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army through the   Special Enlistment Quota.

Given  their limitation against  the standard set by the government to professionalize their ranks, they were encouraged to enroll.

On January 27, 2020, the IP soldiers underwent an orientation and assessment which will pave the way to their formal entry to the Department of Education via ALS. They will soon start to attend their classes inside their camp.

In a facebook post, the 39th Infantry Battalion proudly announced their comrades entry to ALS.

The DepEd-ALS orientation and assessment was facilitated by teacher Soccoro Lyn Taroma, last week.

After the orientation, the soldiers/learners  will have their  daily classes from 8 am to 3 pm until they finish the curriculum.

Lt. Colonel Jezreel Diagmel, Acting Commander of 36IB, said that the initiative of the unit to enhance and develop their personnel, to prepare them for future endeavour and to cope with the standards of the army.

The capacity building among soldiers under Special Enlistment Quota is part of the organization’s Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) which seeks to professionalize the Army as an organization.

The same post quoted an enrolee expressing gratitude to the effort of the army  for providing them the chance to establish their career while serving the nation. He thanked the the army’s 36IB for the opportunity.

The post also stated the FRs are repentant for joining the communist  movement, stating among others, the reason why they failed to avail  proper education. 

“This ALS program to the IP soldiers will bolster their confidence and enhance their individual capability. This will serve as their stepping stone and tool as they go along with their career in the army,” Diagmel emphasized.-Editha Z. Caduaya

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