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Ex-guerrilla is top graduate of candidate soldier course

A former rebel topped the class of candidate soldier course held at the 10th Infantry Division in Compostela Valley on Sunday.

2Lt. Kimberly Jean Lappao, the civil-military operations officer of 25th IB, said Pvt. Albert I. Diez was a former political instructor of the Guerrilla Front 33 and served in the New People’s Army for almost four years.

He graduated on top among the 132 candidate soldiers.

Diez is a Manobo from Montevista, Compostela Valley who joined the NPA in June of 2012 at the young age of 17. He was assigned as the team medic of Sentro De Gravidad of the GF 33. He was promoted as a political guide and a political instructor.

“I was a victim of all their lies,” he said, adding that the NPA also reneged on its promise to support his family in exchange for his service.

Diez surrendered to Lt. Col. Oscar B. Balignasay Jr, 25IB commander, at their headquarters in Camp Kalaw, Poblacion Monkayo, Compostela Valley on Feb. 20, 2018.

He was then enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. But he signified his intention to apply for the candidate soldier course.

All the assistance and support was provided to him until he signified his intent to apply for a Candidate Soldier Course. He went through the process and successfully passed all the requirements. He finally took oath for training four months ago.

“I’m so grateful and honored for giving me the chance to make up for the wrong decisions I made in the past,” he said.

Balignasay said the program is open to former rebels who want to serve the government.

“We all deserve a second chance, a chance to put things right,” Balignasay said.

In a statement, Brig Gen. Gilbert Saret, 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, said, “The AFP will pursue its effort to support the implementation of the E-CLIP by convincing more NPA rebels to return to the folds of the law,”

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