Senator Richard Gordon pressed the need to strengthen the country’s military capability to more effectively address the decades-long insurgency problem and terrorism, as well as defend the country from foreign threats.
Gordon said the government must allocate the funding for the purchase of equipment, supplies and other logistical requirements to fortify the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Air Force.
“We have two major insurgencies in the country – NPA at sa Mindanao, dati may MNLF, naging MILF, tapos nagkaroon ng Abu Sayyaf or ASG. Ngayon meron pang BIFF, lahat na yata ng letters sa alphabet. Because our military’s capability is lacking in terms of type and number of equipment including enhanced training, the manner we are addressing the problems have to be improved,” the senator pointed out.
“There is kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf. We must go after them more swiftly and effectively! How can we defend our territory from foreign threats when we apparently cannot completely stop the insurgents? Kung magkagulo tayo doon sa tinatawag nating Spratlys, makakalaban ba tayo? So, importante na palakasin natin ang ating military,” he added
Gordon warned of the possibility that countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, among others, would enter Philippine territory to rescue their abducted citizens should the Philippine government’s intelligence gathering capability not improve to end the ASG’s banditry.
“Baka mangyari dito yung gaya sa Operation Entebbe, na isang successful counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976. They flew from Israel to Uganda in Africa and liberated the Israeli hostages. Nag-mukhang tanga iyong Uganda. Baka mamaya kapag di pa rin napatigil ang pag-abduct at pag-behead ng Abu Sayyaf, gawin din sa atin iyon.” he said.
Gordon again stressed that beefing up the country’s intelligence efforts and conducting more advanced training for its personnel should be part of the building up of the country’s military assets.
“Even if people see hundreds of soldiers roaming the cities and the provinces, they still would not feel safe if they do not believe that the military has the capability to defend them and their communities. Tapos tinanggal pa ang ROTC kaya ni hindi na tayo marunong mag-martsa. Noong araw, noong World War II, lahat ng mga ROTC sa UP, sa Ateneo lumaban sa Bataan kasama ng mga sundalo,” he stressed.