Philippine military’s primordial concern: From insurgency to territorial integrity, maritime interests

AS Armed Forces of the Philippines Internal Peace and Security Plan – Bayanihan’s six-year timeframe is coming to an end, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now turning its focus to protection of sovereignty from external threats. IPSP “Bayanihan”, which focused AFP’s efforts on internal armed threat groups, started 2011 and will end 2016.

“With the positive outcomes that the IPSP Bayanihan brought, AFP is now eyeing strengthening its ranks and readying itself for its new focus of protecting the territorial integrity and maritime interests of the country as its primordial concern,” AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Lt.Col. Harold Cabunoc said.

“The AFP continues its fight against insurgency and its causes with the implementation of various projects in the countryside which seeks to uplift the quality of life of residents there while actively working against New People’s Army,” he added.

The AFP has a Transformation Roadmap, a fifteen-year strategy, initiated in 2013, that aims to transform the military into a world-class armed forces that is a source of national pride through the development of capabilities and further professionalization of ranks, in the framework of security sector reform.

This was presented today by Lt.Col. Cabunoc during the last command conference of AFP Chief-of-Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang.

General Catapang is set to reach his mandatory retirement on July 18.

Among the Generals who will possibly replace General Catapang are Southern Luzon Command’s Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Philippine Air Force’s Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, Philippine Army’s Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, Western Command’s Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, and Central Command’s Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar.