He was promoted to regiment leader three months after the fall of Phnom Penh. He was in charge of troops defending the city.
He stated that he was allowed to employ his own strategies to defend without communicating with the others, because it was Cambodian territory. He said the KR did not have a policy to attack the Vietnamese but because the latter attacked, they had to attack them. He married without being forced – he loved his wife, who was an ordinary citizen, and asked his unit chief to marry her. His parents were not present. He said if people did not like each other then they did not have to marry. He had never encountered people being monitored to enure they consummated a marriage. He repeatedly said that Cambodian troops who engaged in combat with Vietnamese troops were simply defending their country.