Some 300 Tausugs are undergoing a 45-day Basic Citizen Military Training (BCMT) to become members of the community-based security forces against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu.
Lt. Col. Andres Soriano, Army Reserved Command’s (ARESCOM) 906th Community Defense Center commander, said in a statement Saturday the trainees, belonging to the BCMT Class 02-2021, are being trained on basic soldiery and relief and rescue operation in Barangay Liang, Patikul, Sulu.
“The course shall also include subjects on disaster response, moral virtues, patriotism, and discipline that will arm them with knowledge on how to assist in their community in terms of socio-economic development,” Soriano said.
Laurel Ahajan, 40, one of the trainees, thanked ARESCOM for the opportunity to join the reserve force.
“Extending help to other people is not a new thing to me since I am a member of the Kabalikat Civicom, whose purpose is almost similar to that of the reservists,” Ahajan said.
The Kabalikat Civicom is the largest group of responsible and active radio communicators engaged in public assistance particularly during disasters and natural calamities or whenever there is a need to ensure public comfort and convenience.
“I decided to join the reservist to gain more knowledge and learn new skills and above all is to help my own province,” Ahajan added.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander, noted the number of interested Tausugs to join the reservist has increased.
Gonzales said the BCMT Class 01-2021, which is the first-ever Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion in Sulu, consisted only of 215 Army reservists, three of which are reservist officers.
The BCMT 02-2021 is the second batch of reservists the Army trained in Sulu.
“Many individuals were inspired to join the reservists that’s why the second batch reached 300 members. These volunteers undergoing training will also be part of the Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion,” Gonzales said.
“I’m glad seeing that we have volunteers from all walks of life. They consist of old, young, men and women. There are farmers and some are office personnel,” he said.
Soriano said the training of the BCMT Class 02-2021 will end on December 14.
However, he said those who have full-time jobs and are only available to attend during weekends will graduate after completing 45 days program of instruction.