CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan De Oro City: The Philippine Army is now hiring new members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), including regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA), with no questions asked.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division here, said newly installed Division Commander Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva has issued the directive.
He said the new applicants will no longer undergo rigid background check and the usual military training provided they are regular members of the NPA.
“Any regular member of the NPA could now report to the nearest military outpost in Northern and Northeastern Mindanao at their convenience,” Martinez told The Manila Times.
He said that the rebels who want to be directly enlisted into the AFP must bring their firearms and should come in batches of not less than 10 individuals.
“If the rebels would come down in tens together with their firearms, there would be no questions asked in the processing of their enlistment into the military,” Martinez said.
He added the NPAs who would be enlisted into the AFP would undergo training – more on the administrative side – on AFP operations.
According to Martinez, the military can determine if the applicant rebel is authentic because their names and identities are in the Order of Battle. “We (military) will know if they are authentic NPAs or a bunch of bandits,” he said.
He said the NPA who would be enlisted into the AFP would have the rank of Private and would be entitled to a monthly salary and other benefits enjoyed by any regular AFP member.
He added the military has monitored that some NPA regulars in the Caraga region are now trying to establish contact with military units.
Caraga is in Northeastern Mindanao and is comprised of Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Note, Surigao Del Sur and Dinagat Island.