A TOTAL of 330 Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAAs) graduated from their Basic Military Training during graduation ceremony held at the Headquarters of 1002nd Brigade, Camp BGen Agaab, Malungon, Sarangani on December 27.

Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) Division Public Affairs Office chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said that initially, the CAA Basic Military Training Class 20-26-2017 started November 2017.

He said that the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) training module includes weapons training to equip the trainees with basic knowledge and skills in operation and maintenance of armaments to be used during security operations.

“Subjects on Civil-Military Operations are also taught during the training to include the very foundation and methods of Community Support Program (CSP). They have also undergone lectures, with emphasis, on respect of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and Rule of Law,” he said.

Among the CAAs who have graduated are 110 from provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Davao Occidental. The 330 CAAs came from different tribes; Ilonggo, Bisaya, Manobo, Kaulo, B'laan, Bagobo and T'boli.

Colonel Roberto Ancan 1002nd Brigade Commander, in his keynote speech, acknowledged the importance of Cafgu now that the country is facing several threats including terrorism and fighting different terrorist groups especially the New People’s Army (NPA).

"They are the Communities' first line of defense. Educating and Training them with the basics of home defense strategies is very important specially that we are still facing different security challenges. One of their roles is to protect their communities from armed NPA terrorists," Ancan said.

Meanwhile, Major General Noel S. Clement, Commander of 10ID, underscored the role of the CAAs in protecting communities against lawless armed groups and delivery of basic services of the government.

"May their (CAA) sense of patriotism be an example not only to the tribe where they belong but also to the communities where they will also serve as 'defenders.' These CAAs will be part in spearheading our CSP and anti and counter terrorism efforts. Their mandate is also to protect the people and secure their communities,” Clement said.