THIRTY-FOUR former rebels, one a former political instructor, are now soldiers of the 10th Infantry Division after they finished the six month-long training at the 10th Division Training School in Mawab, Davao de Oro on Thursday, April 28.

Photo courtesy of 10th Infantry Division

“My passion and skills are exploited by the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and that is why I became a member of the New People’s Army. Now that I am a soldier, I can use my skills and knowledge to serve our country,” said Daniel Castillo, a former NPA leader after the closing ceremony of the Candidate Soldier Course.

Capt. Mark Anthony Tito, the 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief, said Castillo was a former political instructor of the Guerilla Front 55 of the communist terrorist group who surrendered to the 10ID in November 2020. 

Tito said he is one of the 34 former rebels or otherwise known as “friends rescued” out of the 286 strong candidate soldiers who finished the six month-long training at the 10th Division Training School. 

Castillo admitted that transitioning from an NPA rebel into a surrenderer and subsequently into a candidate soldier is tough.

 “It is a regimented life, we have to wake up very early, we have to do drills, to exercise. We were taught different skills and techniques in order to survive a soldier’s life to prepare us sa future isip mga sundalo ng 10ID. For me the hardest part syempre is the adjustment from being a civilian to being a soldier, tapos syempre yung pakikisama ko rin sa mga kasama ko because of my background,” Castillo added. 

Moreover, present during the ceremony is Paulette Castillo, Daniel’s mother, former regional peasant secretariat of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) who served in the NPA for 30 years and surrendered in July 2021.

Siyempre karon nalipay kog maayo nga nag sundalo na siya, syempre compared kung Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) siya. Syempre nagpapasalamat ako sa EO70, NTF-ELCAC kasi kung walang NTF-ELCAC malamang hindi makakapag sundalo ang anak ko at hindi rin siya mag susurender,” said Paulette Castillo said in vernacular.

Meanwhile, aside from Castillo, Gelejurain Ngujo, former supply officer of the Guerilla Front 55, and twin brother of Gelejurain II who was killed in a clash in February 2020 in New Bataan, Davao De Oro also graduated from the same class. 

 


Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/04/30/34-former-npa-rebels-integrated-into-army/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=34-former-npa-rebels-integrated-into-army)