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Marcos stresses need for full support for AFP modernization as military shifts focus on external defense

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday emphasized the need for the government's full support for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as he declared the recalibration of the military’s focus to external defense.

“Considering the changing tides of our national security and the significant gains that we have made in terms of internal security, our armed forces is working to recalibrate its focus more towards external defense of our borders,” Marcos said in a speech during the 125th anniversary of the Philippine Navy.

“In this crucial transition, full support for the Armed Forces must be guaranteed especially for the Philippine Navy’s priority goals of enhancing its intelligence, defense and coordinative capabilities,” he added.

The Chief Executive hoped for the completion of the Horizon 3 of the AFP Modernization, which is focused on the naval aspect of the military operations, following the commissioning of two fast attack interdiction craft-missile platforms--BRP Gener Tinangag and BRP Domingo Deluana.

This, he said, will pave the way for the holistic transformation of our AFP into a stronger, modern and formidable organization.

“By then, the AFP will be more effective in its military aims and more responsive to our national goals,” Marcos said.

While Marcos declared a shift on the military’s focus to external threats, the President told the Philippine Navy that they are not only protectors of the seas but also the country’s “peaceful emissaries” who adheres to the international recognized codes of conduct such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the recently approved ASEAN Guidelines for Maritime Interaction.

“In this light, it plays a significant role in our collective effort to nurture friendly international relations by fostering mutual trust and confidence, freedom of navigation and overflight, and of course safety of our seas,” Marcos said.

In ending his speech, Marcos made an assurance to the AFP that his administration will work to improve the military and to look for ways and means to improve their individual welfare. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News