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Marcos orders military to reconfigure security approaches

(Contributed photo)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to overhaul its strategies for addressing key threats, AFP Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday.

Marcos issued the guidance during a military command conference at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. He said the AFP needs to "reconfigure" its approaches for dealing with communist rebels, local extremist groups, territorial disputes in the South China Sea and natural disasters, according to Brawner.

"The President mentioned that we have to think of new ways, innovative ways," Brawner told reporters. He said Marcos wants the military to be more effective against evolving dangers.

The announcement signals a shift from the AFP's focus on internal security operations targeting insurgents and terrorists. With rising tensions in the South China Sea, known locally as the West Philippine Sea, the military is transitioning toward external defense.

Brawner said Marcos advised gaining support from international partners with shared interests when addressing external threats. He did not provide specifics on new strategies, considering those operational matters.

The Philippines has conducted joint patrols with allies like the U.S. and Australia in the disputed sea, which is claimed almost entirely by China. Chinese vessels have increasingly harassed Philippine boats and coast guard ships in the waters.

Brawner also said making Philippine-occupied islands more habitable for troops will be a priority. This includes providing basic services for personnel stationed on remote outposts.

He clarified it does not mean fortifying marooned vessels like the BRP Sierra Madre, which has monitored (Ayungin) Second Thomas Shoal since 1999. (PIA-NCR)

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Jimmyley Guzman

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