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Marcos to AFP: Be ready to defend archipelago

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos has ordered the military to be always ready to defend the country against “emerging threats,” saying there is no room for complacency even in the face of “encouraging developments” in the local security situation.

“We must be ready. Our Armed Forces must be capable of securing and defending the archipelago from emerging threats,” Marcos said yesterday at the oath-taking of newly promoted generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), led by chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacañang.

He emphasized the need for the AFP to be more agile, flexible and responsive to better address emerging issues confronting the nation.

“You must not only anticipate but you must also be ready to adapt and respond to emerging national security and defense realities that exist in our country and in our region,” he said.

“While it is noteworthy that we see positive and encouraging developments in terms of our internal security situation, there remains much to be done,” the commander-in-chief said.

“We must maintain our vigilance and guard against those actors – whatever nature or form they may take – who would threaten and jeopardize the peace we have striven and fought for all these many years,” Marcos said.

Among those present during the oath-taking were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

The President also urged the AFP to ensure that communities once beset by conflict continue to benefit from the gains of peace and the government’s numerous development interventions.

“For the progress of our nation and the welfare of our people are underpinned by the peace and the stability, the security of our communities,” he said.

Marcos also called on the military to further enhance joint planning and operations to ensure interoperability across all units and platforms as well as to sustain and foster greater collaboration with other government agencies and civil society groups in coming up with innovative, effective, efficient solutions to the challenges that stand in the way of achieving peace and unity.

At a media forum last month, National Task Force to