Borongan City Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda and B/Gen. Noel Vestuir, the commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, extended their congratulations to the 88 newly-hired Cafgu members. (802nd IB)

Barangay Campesao, Borongan City, Eastern Samar – The 78th Infantry (WARRIOR) Battalion, 8ID, PA conducted the Joint Closing Ceremony of the CAA-II Basic Military Training (BMT) Classes 4 and 5 composed of 88 civilian volunteers (CVs) coming from Borongan City and adjacent municipalities.

The activity was held at the Headquarters of 78IB in Barangay Lalawigan, Borongan City, Eastern Samar on July 04, 2023 which was graced by Hon. Jose Ivan Dayan C. Agda, City Mayor of Borongan, who served as the guest of honor and speaker.

Present also in the event were Brigadier General Noel A. Vestuir, commander of 802nd Infantry (PEERLESS) Brigade; Col Rico O. Amaro, deputy commander of 802nd Brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Allan T. Tria, commanding officer of 78IB; Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto R. Dela Rosa Jr., commandant of the 8th Division Training School; and families and friends of the graduating Cafgus.

The CAA Basic Military Training is aimed to physically and mentally prepare the CAFGUs to perform their duties as auxiliary force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Upon graduation, they will report to their respective CAA patrol bases and use their knowledge and skills as defenders of their communities which were once influenced by communist terrorists. They will form part of the Integrated Territorial Defence System (ITDS) in the cleared areas.

The ITDS serves as a physical and psychological barrier against the expansion and recovery efforts of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists.

According to Brig. Gen. Vestuir, 802nd Infantry Brigade Commander, “With the completion of the training of these 88 young and able-bodied men, we have additional warm bodies that could be deployed to support our campaign of ending the local communist armed conflict.

With additional CAAs, we can now expand our operational reach, we can now secure more communities, and more development projects will be implemented in the areas that were already cleared of CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists’ influence.

Vestuir also expressed his confidence that the new CAFGUs will significantly contribute in finally ending the local communist armed conflict that has been tormenting the region for more than half a century.

He also reminded the fresh graduates to use their “warrior” mentality and skills that they acquired during the rigorous training to deliver a huge blow to the peace spoilers. He also added the imperatives in the military service which is to uphold the highest level of discipline while respecting the people’s rights as they serve our communities.

“Your courage, love of country, and patriotism are investments that the people of Borongan and Eastern Samar rely on in order to accelerate the elusive sustainable development and lasting peace that they desire for their communities” Vestuir added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Agda assured his full support to the CAFGUs as they perform their duties of securing the people and communities. He said he will increase their pay and provide other incentives as gratitude for their sacrifices and dedication of serving the people of Borongan City.

With this, he expects that they will be able to fulfill their duties to help the local government in maintaining peace and order for them to deliver the needed services to their constituents especially in communities formerly infiltrated by the NPA. (PR)