PNP, DND supports mandatory ROTC in grade 11 and 12

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2019   •   2088

ROTC student-cadets during training

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense support the implementation of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training if it passes into law.

According to PNP Spokesperson Police Colonel Bernard Banac, the mandatory ROTC will prepare the youth if they are interested in entering the PNP or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

It will also train the youth in case there is a need for assistance during calamities.

“Kung saka-sakaling may pangangailangan na magpatawag tayo ng reserba, hindi lamang sa segurdidad kundi pati sa pag-responde sa mga disaster, calamities, and emergencies, (In case there is a need for additional forces, not just for security, but also during disasters, calamities, and emergencies)” Banac said.

Meanwhile, the Department National Defense (DND) also expressed support for the passage of the mandatory ROTC.

In a statement, the DND said the measure will boost the youth’s patriotism and sense of community.

“The reinstatement of mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 will help instill love of country, good citizenship, respect for human rights, and adherence to the rule of law,” their statement reads.

The House of Representatives approved House Bill 8961 on the 3rd and final reading on Monday (May 20). This will require high school students to undergo ROTC.

PH-US military drills within 180 days of VFA scrapping to push through — Lorenzana

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The military exercises between the Philippines and the United States scheduled for the following months will still push through despite the Duterte government’s move to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.

In a statement, Lorenzana said the training between Filipino and American soldiers will still proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force.

“With the formal serving of the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, this year’s planned military exercises with the Americans shall proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force,” he said.

The Defense chief, however, said American troops may opt to discontinue the exercises before the 180 days are up.

Once the VFA’s termination is final, Lorenzana said Filipino troops will stop conducting military drills with their American counterparts.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday confirmed that they have received the notice of termination sent by the Philippine government. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

DND welcomes Senate assurance to pass stiffer anti-terrorism law

Robie de Guzman   •   December 12, 2019

Filipino soldiers on top of a military truck celebrate in the ruined city of Marawi, southern Philippines, 17 October 2017.  EPA-EFE/JOEFREY MAITEM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday welcomed the Senate’s assurance to pass tougher anti-terrorism law.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed gratitude to the Senate for heeding their call to amend the provisions of the Human Security Act in an aim to better capacitate and empower government troops to counter-terrorism.

“We at the DND are happy with the reassuring pronouncement of Senate President Vicente Sotto III that they will pass the bill into a law expanding the definition of terrorism among other amendments,” Lorenzana said.

The Defense chief has been pushing for the amendment of the Human Security Act of 2007 to ease restrictions on surveillance and extend the lawful detention period of suspected terrorists to 30 days from the current three days.

Under the proposed measure, the Senate wants to prolong the detention period to 14 days for terror suspects.

“While we are batting for a 30-day period of detention for suspected terrorists to allow the government to build its case, the period of 14 days in the Senate’s proposed amendment is far better than the maximum 3 days under the present Human Security Act,” Lorenzana said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also lauded Senate’s commitment to passing stiffer anti-terrorism law.

“We thank the Senate for taking concrete steps toward amending the Human Security Act to better capacitate and empower government security forces to combat terrorism,” AFP Spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said.

“The Filipino people stand to benefit from the passage of this new law that shall address the myriad, complex, and global threat of terrorism— not only in Mindanao where Martial Law terminates on 31 Dec 2019 – but the rest of the country,” he added.

Sotto on Tuesday assured the passage of the bill seeking to strengthen the country’s anti-terrorism law to prevent future attacks.

Senate Bill 1083, sponsored by Senate committee defense chairman Senator Panfilo Lacson, is currently being discussed in plenary at the period of interpellation.

DND welcomes appointment of Gapay as new PH Army chief

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2019

Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) has welcomed the appointment of Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay as the new commanding general of the Philippine Army.

In a statement, the DND noted that Gapay brings with him years of dedicated military service and leadership.

Gapay’s appointment by President Rodrigo Duterte was confirmed Wednesday by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Noel Clement.

Gapay, a member of the Philippine Military Class of 1986, will replace Lieutenant General Macairog Alberto who is set to retire on Friday, Dec. 6.

Prior to his appointment as Army chief, he headed the Southern Luzon Command which is primarily tasked with anti-insurgency operations.

He also led the military’s Mechanized Infantry Division and also served as deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

He also headed the Joint Task Force Haribon in charge of securing Davao City areas after the 2016 Roxas night market bombing.

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