Monday, August 5, 2013

PA condemns effort to block its 'no maltreatment policy'

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 5): PA condemns effort to block its 'no maltreatment policy'
The Philippine Army (PA) on Monday has strongly condemned certain individuals contesting its "no maltreatment policy" in its training schools and centers.

"Reform policies designed to eliminate maltreatment and improve the relationship between new and senior trainees are being viewed by some as unfavorable to the development of soldier candidates. As such, negative comments had been circulating recently on how the PA is putting into action its reform agenda," Army chief Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes said.

He added that the PA leadership believes that this smear campaign is the handiwork of some persons who do not want to leave their positions and those that were affected by the PA's new reform policies on handling officer trainees.

Coballes stressed that these reforms are intended to ensure that the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) shall be anchored on a solid foundation – disciplined and motivated soldiers.

"In fact, all efforts are geared towards achieving the ATR objectives. One of the measures carried out to achieve this end is to institutionalize reforms in training schools, and review and improve existing training doctrines and programs," the PA chief emphasized.

All Army training schools had been directed to adopt the no maltreatment policy, he added.

"The PA believes that it cannot instill military discipline or encourage competence among trainees if they were subjected to physical abuse. The philosophy of employing physical violence among trainees should be struck down, because the practice only breed abusers and rights violators, instead of producing soldiers of character and competence," Coballes stated.

"We are saddened that there are still those who believe that discipline can be instilled through violence. It is the intent of the Army leadership to change this kind of principle, though, it would be better for the whole organization that these officers/soldiers be removed from the service," he added.

The PA chief stated that the Army leadership is serious in implementing these reforms.

He added that it is only proper to sanction any officer or member of the Army organization who is guilty of any infraction or who cannot give their 100 percent support to the no maltreatment policy or any other policy for that matter.

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