By Julmunir I. Jannaral
CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had made history with the graduation of 195 civilian volunteers as the first-ever to graduate with Basic Citizen Military Training (BCMT) held at the so-called ground zero in Barangay Taglibi in Patikul, Sulu on Saturday.
BCMT is an entry-level training course undertaken by Filipino citizens who intend to enlist in the reserve force of the AFP.
The duties and responsibilities of the reservists are to assist in disaster relief and rescue operations, socio-economic development, and operations of critical utilities of affiliated reserve units; and as a base expansion of regular force in the event of war, rebellion, or natural emergencies.
A total of 195 civilian volunteers belonging to Class 01-2020 underwent the 45 days basic military training course conducted by the Philippine Army. The graduates will automatically be part of the proposed first Sulu Ready Reserve Battalion.
The commencement exercise was graced by no less than the Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr.
In his message, Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. stated that this is a great move towards peace and progress in the province of Sulu.
“I am elated with the hard work and dedication during the training. These exemplify your sincere commitment to serve and protect the people and our flag,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.
Vinluan acknowledged the training committee and other institutions who extended their support.
“Thank you for strengthening our capability to protect our country not only against the invaders and terrorists but also during the onslaught of natural and man-made calamities,” he said.
Also present during the activity were Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Army Reserve Command Chief Maj. Gen. Peale Jon Bondoc, Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, other military officers, and other stakeholders.
Maj. Gen. Bondoc expressed his gratitude to the local chief executives of Sulu for the support and trust that led to the success of the BCMT in Sulu.
He also expressed his admiration to the graduates for their determination to finish the training and officially become members of the reserve force.
Meanwhile, both Mayor Hayudini and Governor Tan extended their gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for persistently working with them for peace and prosperity in Sulu.
They also pledged to continuously support the armed forces in all their endeavors particularly in addressing the security concerns of the province. JIJ