2,000 volunteers respond to Marines’ call for reservist recruits in Maguindanao, S. Kudarat

KALAMANSIG, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews / 17 Aug) – The Philippine Marines was surprised over the weekend when about 2,000 residents showed up during a call for reservist recruits.

Brig. Gen. Alvin Parreno, 1st Marine Brigade chief, said the volunteers include doctors and other professionals.

“The volunteers include doctors, government employees, professionals, farmers and fisher folks who want to serve,” Parreno said. He said even former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants joined the training for a noble cause.

The volunteers, he said, are from Kalamansig, Lebak, Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat and in South and North Upi in Maguindanao.

Parreno said the volunteer reservists will also form part of the government’s human resources for volunteer operations like rescue or during calamity and disasters.

“This is reserve force and an expansion of regular force in times of invasion or in war,” Parreno said, adding he felt “patriotism is in the air” in these towns.

“This is an answer to the pronouncement of President [Rodrigo] Duterte to improve and to enforce the reserve force the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

Haron Gantayan, former MNLF combatant, said he volunteered to serve. “I joined as reservist because I want to be part of peace building,” he said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)