Army to complete activation of 10 more infantry battalions within 2018
Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista said it will complete the activation of 10 more infantry battalions within the year.
“To beef up our ground operations, seven out of the additional ten infantry battalions have been activated,” Bautista said during the celebration of the 121st founding anniversary of the Philippine Army in Taguig on Tuesday.
“The remaining three shall be activated in the second quarter of this year,” he added.
Bautista said aside from additional 10 battalions, two more battalions were also activated under the Philippine Army.
“Furthermore, the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion and the 500th Engineer Combat Battalion were also activated,” he said.
The event that was led by President Rodrigo Duterte was also attended by Vice President Leni Robredo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC Eduardo Ano, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other government and military officials.
In his speech, Bautista emphasized that he also shares some of the important milestone of the Philippine Army which includes the Palladium award they just received last week.
“We have improved the Army’s standing in relation to the rest of the world. Aligned with our vision to become a world class army, we were inducted into the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame in London on March 14, 2018,” he said.
“The Hall of Fame award recognizes our capability for effective strategy execution. This award shows that we are on target, in so far as the army transformation road map is concerned, and are on the right path towards professionalizing the service. The Philippine Army is the sixth institution in the country to receive this coveted award,” he added.
Bautista said the military’s efforts and achievements in its fight against the New People’s Army (NPA) and the terrorist group in Southern Philippines were highlighted.
“When the president declared the CPP-NPA as terrorists in December 2017, we intensified our campaign against them. This resulted in the significant decline of their manpower and firearms,” he said.
“The threat of terrorism is omnipresent and unavoidable in this day and age. It is a reality that the free world must now confront. The siege of the city of Marawi, opened the eyes of countries in our part of the world, to the realities of terrorism, and subsequently, resulted in the second declaration of martial law in the Philippines,” Bautista added.
“The Army served as the main effort to address and neutralize the ISIS-Maute terrorist group in a protracted battle for the liberation of the city of Marawi,” he noted.
Bautista recognized the effort of allied countries who helped the Philippine Army to enhance capability of their soldiers.
“The war fighting competency of our soldiers was enhanced by the conduct of more than 700 squad-level training activities and more than 12,800 individual training programs. Furthermore, 24 allied countries provided training programs and military courses that contributed to the professional development of our personnel,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS