AN official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said the province of Basilan should not be labelled as a “trash bin for scalawags” following the reassignment of rogue personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the province.
“For soldiers and marines, sailors and airmen, being deployed in Basilan or in Sulu, for that matter, is a source of pride. Because only the ‘warriors,’ professionals, and those who excel in their fields were sent to Basilan,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.
Arevalo stressed that young officers and enlisted personnel have volunteered to be assigned in the cited island provinces for their “baptisms of fire.”
“It’s a choice assignment. Because such deployments offer them a wealth of experience, innumerable lessons, opportunities to excel, and yes, earn trophy points,” he explained.
Meanwhile, a military official, who requested anonymity, recounted that when he was still a young second lieutenant, he volunteered to be assigned to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 then deployed in Basilan.
The official, now a full colonel, is holding a sensitive post in the AFP.
Over 200 policemen, mostly accused of minor offenses, were presented to President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang last week by PNP chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa.
“Prepare to move out. I’ll give you two weeks from now, 15 days. Start to move out. If you do not want to go there, go to your superior officer and tell them that you’re going to resign,” Duterte told the policemen lined up before him.
The President said those who will be sent to Basilan will stay there for two years.