A TOTAL of 736 candidate soldiers have been enlisted into the Philippine Army after they have graduated from Basic Military Training (BMT), officials announced.
The graduates included two former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, who surrendered to the government, and 90 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who belong to the Subanen tribe.
Major Ronald Suscano, Army’s 1st Infantry Division information officer, said they belong to the Candidate Soldier Course (CSC) Classes 506, 507, 519 and 520, who graduated on Thursday, April 5 from a four-month BMT at the 1st Division Training School (1DTS) in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.
Lieutenant Colonel Rufino de Leon, 1DTS commandant, said of the 736 graduates, 29 percent are college graduates, 28 percent are high school graduates, 23 percent college level, and 20 percent are graduates of vocational courses certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
De Leon said that the age requirement for a candidate soldier applicant is from 18 to 25 years old.
Major General Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, has expressed an accolade of thanks to the family, especially the parents of the graduates, who entrusted their sons to be part of the military service.
Murillo, during his speech as the graduation keynote speaker, has asked for a moment of silence for the late Candidate Soldier Randell Berlin, who died while undergoing training.
He said the new soldiers will be given a short break to spend time with their family and share their experiences in training before they will be deployed to the different field units under the administrative control of the 1st Infantry Division.
The graduation ceremony culminated with a Ceremonial Entrustment of Firearms that symbolizes the magnitude of responsibility, duty and authority vested upon the soldiers in protecting the Filipino people. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)