AT LEAST 30 former communist guerillas and 10 members of the Cafgu Active Auxiliary have participated in an in-house training course that aims to enhance their skills at the 8th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on Monday, June 24.
The whole-day activity was facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Bukidnon.
They undergo training on carpentry and masonry. The courses will have a separate duration of 33 days for carpentry and 25 days for masonry.
The enrolled former New People's Army rebels were given profitable skills to start their own livelihood.
Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana, 8IB commander, said the military wanted the former rebels to be de-radicalized through livelihood programs.
"We wanted you to have a life where ideologies that consumed you as good citizens of this country won't, again, dominate your minds. We want to help you start again," Illana said.
"Now, as you have eradicated your pasts, may this opportunity set new doors and be reminded that the government never ever turned back on you-the government wanted to have you a good life and has given you something to give you an off-shoot towards greener pasture," he added.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental turned over M16 rifles to 16 former rebels turned army soldiers on Monday.
Most of the enlisted soldiers with the rank of Private were former rebels and members of the indigenous peoples from different towns.
The ceremony highlighted the Army's adherence to the Philippine constitutional provision of "civilian supremacy over the military" and a renewal of their commitment to protect the people and the state.
Governor Yevgeny Emano has also expressed his support to the upcoming activation of the regional task force.
"We will activate our own provincial task force to end the local communist armed conflict and we will make it as our main agenda in our next peace and order council meeting," Emano said.
Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, has sought the people's trust on the military as they perform their constitutional mandate.
"We are mandated to give our best to ensure the protection of the Filipino people, to the extent of offering our lives so others would live in peace," De Leon said.