With the reported dwindling number of communist rebels and sympathizers in the country, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered the Philippine Army (PA) to “recalibrate” its anti-insurgency efforts.
Instead of just focusing on “clearing our communities of internal security threats,” the President said Army troops should now also focus on community development to end insurgencies.
“We are now undertaking an even more challenging mission—one that is not yours to carry alone. Addressing the root causes of insurgency will entail a whole-of-nation approach,” Marcos said in his speech at the 126th founding anniversary of PA in Taguig City last Wednesday.
“Take on the task of peacemakers—work with the national government agencies, the civil society groups, the private sector, and the communities themselves in keeping the peace,” he added.
To address external security threats, the Commander-in-Chief said the PA should continue to maintain close coordination with their counterparts from “like-minded nations.”
“Share information, learn from the best practices in the region to make our military better,” Marcos said.
The President also reiterated his commitment to modernize the Army so it can better respond to new threats from the complex and unpredictable “external security environment.”
“We will continue to invest not only in modern equipment and materiel but also in your training, so you can keep abreast of concepts, doctrines, [and] strategies that we now need in the modern battlefield,” Marcos said.
He lauded the invaluable contribution of the PA in preserving the country’s peace and security for over a century.
“Through the years, the Philippine Army has shown patriotism and bravery that allowed our country to succeed and thrive in its pursuit of peace, of stability, and of democracy,” Marcos said.
“The entire nation is grateful for the many sacrifices our ground troops have made to ensure our internal security,” he added.
Prior to delivering his speech in the anniversary event, Marcos also viewed the static and kinetic display of the Army’s land assets and equipment and led in the presentation of awards to selected uniformed and civilian personnel of the Army.