Arming reservists "very possible": Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday arming reservists as suggested by President Rodrigo Duterte is "very possible".
“That is very possible. Other countries do it like Switzerland, Israel. They have a small standings armed force backed by a huge reserve force that continually train with the active force,” he said.
“What we envision in our country is the same. Each region will have a reserve unit consistent of retired military and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduates,” Lorenzana added.
“Their cadres (officers and enlisted personnel) will be active military (personnel). They will have their regional headquarters with armories where they will keep their firearms. They can use these firearms during training,” he said.
During the Marawi siege, Lorenzana said reservists were given special orders calling them to limited active duty.
“If they are used in combat, peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) they will have official orders calling them for limited active duty like we did with the Lanao del Norte Reserve Batallion during the Marawi siege,” he said.
Early this week, Duterte said he may arm ROTC graduates and reservists if threats of terrorism in the country worsen. Robina Asido/DMS