From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 10): More soldiers, elite forces, quality FAs as country prepares for terrorism
The Philippine government is bent on adding elite forces and soldiers and to purchase quality combat tools to strengthen the country’s defense against terrorism.
In his first visit as head of the country in the Province of Cebu, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said terrorism will be the leading problem of the country in the coming years.
“But I am warning you that five to 10 years from now the biggest problem will be terrorism, “ Duterte said.
He said he will have to prepare the Philippines for that scenario saying he is not getting there without setting up the defenses.
Duterte said Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for 20,000 for next year but it may not be possible yet.
“I’d be happy if we have about five battalions of SAF (Special Action Forces) and produce another 10,000 more soldiers next year, okay na tayo, okay na ang Pilipinas ,” Duterte said.
He is also bent on purchasing the best quality firearms for the country saying is not agreeable with lowest bids.
“That is also a source of corruption. Yung lowest bid, you come up with the lowest quality,” he said.
Duterte said the country may buy from Israel and through negotiated purchase.
“If there’s a question of quality then that is an issue for me. Para sa akin issue ang quality lalo na sa (hand gesture of a firearm) buhay kasi ang pinag-uusapan dito eh,(for me, quality is an issue specially when it comes to firearms, we are talking about lives here),” Duterte said.
The President assured the country will purchase intelligence apparatus like drones at the right time.
In the early part of his speech, he made mention of improvements of health services for the military.
These include purchase of new life saving and other medical equipment, rehabilitation of the old building and construction of an additional building.
Duterte said there will also be concrete alternative employment plans for those who were injured in the line of work.
The President was talking with the confined soldiers at V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City recently.
He cited one who lost his eyesight in battle saying he will be enrolled to learn the brail system
“Do not worry I will take care of you, bilhan ng natural eye, you will learn brail and then land a call center job,” he said.
Those who were crippled he said they will be given computers and undergo training on voice, diction and grammar. These he said will enable them to land a job again in the call center industry.
“I will reinvent you as a human being,”
As promised in his earliest days as President, the increase of their salaries will already take effect this year.
“By December you will have doubled your salaries. This August tingnan nyo ang payslip, andyan nay an, wala kayong problema, lahat ibigay ko,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he is going around the country visiting camps just to assure the personnel he feel strongly for them
“Wla naman akong kailangan sa inyo, I don’t need your personal loyalty, just love your country, obey the constitution. Period” Duterte said.
Duterte first visited Camp Macario Peralta headquarters of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division in Jamindan, Capiz before proceeding to Centcom.
He had a close door meeting with military and police officials which lasted for three hours.
The President garnered six million votes in Cebu in this year's election.