As former enemies of the country, serving in the Philippine Army is the best realization for Private Vincent D. Dela Cruz of Barangay Daga, Cadiz City and Private Jogie V. Siplao of Barangay Locotan, Kabankalan City, all in Negros Occidental.
From being former members of Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P/RPA-ABB), the two surrenderers are now full-fledged government soldiers, who will be serving and protecting the country--the Philippines.
Dela Cruz and Siplao were former members of RPM-P/RPA-ABB in 2nd District of Negros Occidental, who recently finished their seven-month long training at the Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Gen. Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.
The RPA-ABB is a breakaway group of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). They split in 1996 due to ideological differences.
In 2000, the RPA-ABB signed a peace agreement with the national government under President Joseph Estrada. On September 19, 2019, former President Rodrigo Duterte led the formal demilitarization of the former RPM-P/RPA-ABB combatants in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz.
Dela Cruz and Siplao were allowed to be part of the Philippine Army after passing the seven months rigorous and disciplined Basic Military Training. They were taught the fundamentals of soldiery and instilled with the Army's core values of honor, duty, and patriotism.
The two, who belong to the special quota of Candidate Soldiers "MAILAP” Class 689-2021 and graduated on July 14, 2022, were among the 181 strong and gallant new privates who received their R4 Carbine-issued rifles during the entrustment rites, a tradition that symbolizes supremacy of civilian authority over the military. The ceremony was graced by Tapaz, Capiz mayor Roberto Palomar.
In his message, MGen Benedict Arevalo, the 3ID Commander, said that these two Privates would inspire and motivate other youth inside the movement to return to the folds of the law and serve the country in a significant way.
“I am happy that these former members of the armed movement finally realized that a brighter future is waiting for them outside the organization, and it makes a big difference," said Arevalo. (JBG/Story and photos from 3ID-Public Affairs Office)