Mati City, Davao Oriental — In a bold step to regain wasted time as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), twenty one (21) former Rebels (FRs) completed their Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program last October 1, at the Happy Home (Half Way House and Processing Center) facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and the Department of Education in partnership with the 701st “Kagitingan” Brigade.
Majority of the recruited members of the NPA were not able to finish their studies making them vulnerable in joining the armed struggle.
They exploited person who lacks education especially in the far flung areas, to join the NPA because it’s easy for them to use issues and propagandas to agitate and organize them against the government.
The ALS Program was introduced to FRs at the Happy Home as part of their preparation before they go back to their community knowing that the main reason why they were recruited is because of lack of education. Programs that are being catered at the Happy Home are the Basic Literacy Program, Elementary Education and Secondary Education.
During the graduation rites, five (5) FRs were able to finish their Basic Literacy Program while four (4) FRs finished their Elementary Education. Likewise, twelve (12) of them finished their Secondary Education. Furthermore, CY 2015 has the most number of graduates from the ALS program.
One of the FRs who gave their testimonies during the program was very emotional saying “sobrang laki ng aking pasasalamat sa pag-aalaga at pagbigay sa amin ng oportunidad na makapag-aral ulit, kahit kami ay naging miyembro ng NPA, ang atensyon at pag papahalaga na ibinigay ninyo sa amin ay di namin kayang palitan ng kahit ano pa. Gagamitin namin ang nakamit naming edukasyon para makatulong sa aming komunidad at magiging ehemplo kami sa pagpapalaganap ng kapayapaan sa aming lugar” After his speech, other FRs and guest stood up and loudly applauded in appreciation to his message.
The graduates then gave an intermission number projecting how thankful they were to the program that they received. Their presentation also expressed their support to the peace efforts in the Province of Davao Oriental.
On the other hand, P/Supt. Joseph B. Sepulcre, OIC of the Davao Oriental Provincial Police Office during his speech saying, “We are very happy with the accomplishment of our FRs, this shows the care and support of the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental headed by Governor Corazon Malanyaon to our brothers who were once member of the NPA and now our partners in maintaining peace in the province”.
“Congratulations for taking a big step by graduating from the Alternative Learning System Program, this will be a helpful tool for you as you go back to the community where you belong and your accomplishments regained the lost time you spend with the armed group. We knew that one of the concerns was lack of education and now that you’ve graduated, this will lead to the improvement of your lives as well as the development in your area” Col Bienvenido R. Datuin, Brigade Commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade said during his message.
“The 701st Kagitingan Brigade is dedicated in promoting peace in the Province of Davao Oriental and we encourage you graduates to be catalysts of peace as you go back to your respective communities. Help us encourage our brothers to leave the armed struggle and let us work hand in hand for the lasting peace and continuous development in Davao Oriental,” Col Datuin Jr added. (4th Civil Military Operations Company,PA AFP)