Senator Robin Padilla Commends New AFP Reservists

Senator Robin C. Padilla has praised the 48 new reservists who recently completed their Basic Citizen Military Course (BCMC) and are now full-fledged members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This achievement underscores Padilla’s dedication to encouraging public involvement in the citizen military training program.

Sa inyong pinagdaanan, napakasarap isipin na ang suot nyo na uniporme ay kumakatawan sa lahat ng bagay na dati n’yong kinatatakutan subalit inyong nagawa. At iyan ang pwedeng mag umpisa ng inyong pagtatanggol sa sarili. Iyan ang basic citizen military training. Kitang kita nyo na buong-buo kayo bilang isang Pilipino,” Padilla said.

Rigorous Training and Graduation

The Sandigang Alab Batch 10, consisting of forty Senate employees and eight other individuals, underwent an intensive 20-day training. They acquired self-defense skills and a comprehensive understanding of the vital role reservists play in national security. The graduation ceremony, held at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila, was graced by notable officials including Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci, Jr., MGen. Joseph Ferrous Cuison, and Capt. Junmar Sales.

Vice Admiral Adaci highlighted the essential contribution of reservists to national security. “Reservists are crucial to our national security. During disasters, conflicts, crises, and other challenges, your presence and readiness provide additional strength and confidence to our forces,” he stated.

Celebrity Support and Personal Stories

52-year-old veteran actress Nadia Montenegro, who also works for Padilla’s office as a political affairs officer, joined the ranks of the Philippine Navy reservists after completing her training. Inspired by Senator Padilla, Montenegro celebrated her achievement on Instagram, expressing her commitment to serving the country and acknowledging the personal transformation she experienced through the training.

“I encourage everyone to do their part kasi this is the moment where we need talaga each other’s strength, each other’s power together na magsama-sama para sa ating bayan,” she said during a brief interview with the press.

Celebrity reservist Major Jose Sixto G. Dantes III, also known as Dingdong Dantes, shared his enlistment experience from 2006. He emphasized the importance of serving the country through the AFP, stating, “The best way to serve the country is by serving the organization well.” Dantes encouraged the new graduates to uphold integrity, honor, and excellence.

Other celebrities have also joined the AFP reservists, further boosting the movement:

  • Matteo Guidicelli: The actor and musician joined the AFP as a reservist, taking his oath at the Army Reserve Command in Cavite. He stressed his love for the country and the importance of being prepared.
  • Rocco Nacino: Known for his roles in various Kapuso soap operas, Nacino joined the Navy Reserves and has actively participated in military-related activities.
  • Gerald Anderson: The actor, influenced by his father, joined the Philippine Coast Guard’s K9 Special Support Squadron, demonstrating his commitment to serve the country. In the 2020 drama series “A Soldier’s Heart,” Anderson played the role of Alex Marasigan, an IT expert who quits his desk job and joins the army to serve the country.

Padilla’s Call to Action

Senator Padilla, a strong advocate for citizen military training, emphasized the visible transformation in the new reservists. “We have seen the positive changes in you. The uniform you now wear represents overcoming your fears, which is the essence of basic citizen military training,” he remarked.

Padilla, a citizen soldier himself with the rank of lieutenant colonel, urged the new reservists to use their ranks to inspire the youth to join the reservist program. He stressed that the success of civilian military training hinges on public understanding of the crucial role reservists play in national security. Padilla expressed hope that regions with low enlistment rates, such as Palawan and Western Mindanao, will see increased participation in the future.

Encouraging More Public Participation

Senator Padilla expressed his hope that the new 48 reservists will inspire others to foster a deeper love for the country and its people. He believes that these new reservists will serve as a catalyst for increased public awareness and participation in the reservist program, strengthening the nation’s defense and preparedness especially now that the country faces constant threats from China.

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