MANILA – A prominent member of the Rainbow Ranger Alumni Association Inc. (RRAAI) has expressed his willingness to help the government's efforts to revive the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
"According to the Greek philosopher Plato: 'Only the dead have seen the end of war'. We're not dead yet, we will continue the fight. Now that there are plans to reviving ROTC, maybe we could help, maybe we could participate, maybe we could propose projects that may be considered by the government, that would continue the legacy of the legacy of our founder, BGen Benjamin Vallejo and his UP Vanguards and the vision of the Division Commanders and the Rainbow Division of Volunteers," retired Police Brig. Gen. Elmo DG San Diego said in his message read by fellow RRAAI member, retired Police Col. Remigio Gregorio, during the 54th founding day homecoming event at the UPDMST (Department of the Military Science and Tactics) Complex, Diliman, Quezon City on Saturday.
San Diego, now head of the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety, also discussed the bravery of Rainbow Rangers during "HOPE 71" where Sunday Soldiers like themselves were deployed in dangerous places like Marawi City, Lanao and other critical provinces in Mindanao during the 1971 elections.
Deployment took place three months shortly after the Plaza Miranda bombing on Sept. 21, 1971.
Two days later, Martial Law was declared.
"These are the parts of Philippine History in which the participation of the Rainbow Rangers had really shined through," San Diego added.
He said the saddest part of their history was when the Rainbow Project ceased shortly after the February 1986 People's Power Revolution which even ROTC was stopped.
"But what happened after that, when so many brave, tough and well-trained Rainbow Rangers left out in this kind of situation. Of course, we will prevail and continue to prosper. We are Sunday Soldiers in those minds runs the principle of filial piety, honor, valor, humility, and tradition. We are the Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan whose bodies flow the blood of the second generation alagad ni Bonifacio," San Diego stressed.
The RRAAI celebrated its 54th founding day homecoming event at the UPDMST Complex, Diliman, Quezon City.
This year's theme is "Moving on a United Tomorrow for the Rainbow Rangers".
The RRAAI is also affiliated with the Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan (KMAB) Pilipinas, Inc.
The Rainbow Rangers originated from the Sunday Soldier Training Project of the UP Vanguard Fraternity alumni and the UPROTC Cadet Officers volunteering on the Scout Ranger-Unconventional Warfare (SR-UW) Course conceptualized by then Army Capt. Vallejo, who is now deceased, on Sept. 15, 1968.
In August 1970, the Sunday Soldier Training Project expanded to other ROTC Units and became known as the AFP Rainbow Ranger Home Defense Program with volunteers coming from 26 or so colleges and universities in Metro Manila, Laguna and Davao.
It grew from a Battalion to a full Division-size Ready Mobilizable Unit until its deactivation in the mid-80s with the retirement of then MCMTC commanding officer Brig. Gen. Vallejo.
The Advanced ROTC graduates of the Rainbow Ranger Program were then inducted into its civic arm and fraternal society, the KMAB—whose first initiation into the CREDO Ritual was then witnessed by the last Flag Officer of the “Katipunan ng Mga Alagad ni Bonifacio”, Don Pablo De Jesus Tan-Gatue, who dubbed the graduates as the “Second Generation Alagad ni Bonifacio”. Since 1970, its graduates have performed the CREDO Ritual of Filial Piety, Honor, Valor, Humility, and Tradition, shedding blood for God, Country, and People.
In the years of its activation and onwards, many of its graduates have given their time, talent and treasure in molding leaders and in excelling themselves in their chosen fields of profession and career in the military, police and government services, in politics and the academe, in private practices, business and corporate world, and in the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Auxiliary Services of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCGA).
As a Volunteer and Selective Program, the Rainbow Ranger Project is a novel approach to Citizenship Training and Reservist Force Development—incorporated and fused together into one cohesive activity with the training of volunteers from Basic and Advanced ROTC Programs and on Scout Ranger, Unconventional Warfare and Home Defense Operations for Fidelity to Country and People, and for the Reservist NCOs and Commissioned Officers serving as Training Cadre of the Program, credited as “Sunday Soldiers” on Weekly Active Duty Training (WADT) status—truly model Citizen Soldiers.
In many ways, the Rainbow Ranger Project has proven that the emergence of a volunteer Civic Military Force is feasible even on austere conditions of budgetary and service support. Its success relied mainly on the spirit of its participants—the Citizen Volunteers. (With Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)