Marcos to military: Be ‘peacemakers’

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier this week urged the military to act as “peacemakers” in the nation’s struggle against communist rebels, pointing to his administration’s pivot to a new anti-insurgency strategy.

Speaking before the Armed Forces of the Philippines 9th Infantry “Spear” Division in Camarines Sur last Thursday, Marcos acknowledged the role of the military as “warfighters” who protect the state against its adversaries.

But he said the mission of the Philippine military is evolving, and while they still train to be warfighters, they are also being asked to be peacemakers.

As for communist groups and terrorists, “We are now not only presenting them with a military force, we are presenting them with other options. We are presenting them with a life after their life as rebels,” Marcos said.

Marcos also emphasized the importance of a well-trained and well-equipped military, particularly with the external threats that the country is facing. His government is determined to ensure that the military is fully prepared and equipped to fulfill their duties, he stressed.

“I think I am accurate when I describe our military today as being capable and as well prepared as we ever had,” he said. “We in the civilian government are determined to make sure that when we ask you to do your duty, that then you are fully prepared, you are fully trained, and you are complete in the equipment that you need to fulfill that mission.”

“Of all the sectors of society, it is only the military that has never let the Filipino down,” he added.

In conclusion, he encouraged the military to continue their good work and to fulfill their mission with excellence.

“So keep up the good work. Continue your service,” he said.

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