/ 30 July 2022

FIFTEEN Enlisted Personnel under the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion who are  Indigenous Peoples (IP) and 38 former rebels  graduated from the Alternative Learning System Program of the Department of Education.

The ALS learners were enlisted into the regular force as part of the government’s support to IPs who are most vulnerable to the Communist Terrorist Group’s recruitment and exploitation.

Majority of the recruited members of the CTG were not able to finish their studies.

“Ang NPA ang hinungdan nganong wala mi kahuman ug eskwela. Sulod sa pila ka tuig nga pagpangalagad nako sa NPA ilang giguba ang among kaugmaon. Dako among pagpasalamat sa gobyerno nga gin tagaan mi ug chance nga masugod ug bag-ong panginabuhi,” said Inday Binongkasan, who is the oldest graduate at 54.

The ALS Program was introduced to former rebels at the Masigasig Happy Homes as part of their preparation before going back to their community.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey P.  Balingao, the newly installed Commanding Officer of 23IB, congratulated the IP soldiers and former rebels for completing the ALS program.

“We are happy that our soldiers and FRs hurdled the process of undergoing the program that will be to their best interest in continuing their military service and serves as their accomplishment. We also laud the efforts of the ALS teachers who patiently taught them and helped them complete the program. More than anything else, it’s their sacrifices that realized the success of our soldiers and FRs on this momentous day,” he said.