PH needs more soldiers, says Bautista


Military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista: Direct hand in Bayanihan. Photo from

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines needs more soldiers to address both external and internal security threats, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista said Friday.

Bautista cited the burgeoning population of the country as a reason to augment the armed forces even as he recognized that the needed expansion would depend on the budget.

“Like what the President said, the population grew to almost 100 million, but the strength of the armed forces did not go with the expansion,” he said.

“The ideal is to hopefully increase the number of our soldiers so we can be more responsive. As of now, the strength of the soldiers is limited based because of budgetary constraint,” he told reporters Friday.

“Pero kami we take it as a challenge as a given in this solution… that we will craft to solve our problems,” he added.

Bautista said the recruitment for soldiers were “subject to budget.”

“Yung limitation kumbaga sa problema that is a given, ito ang problema natin, ito ang mga constraints so we work within that constraints,” he said.

Over the weekend, the New People’s Army ramped up its armed attacks with the ambush of Gingoog Mayor Ruth Guingona.

“It is a wake up call for all of us that we need to stop the violence of the armed struggle,” Bautista said on the incident.

On Thursday, a communist rebel was killed after an encounter with government soldiers who responded to reports of communist rebels demanding “permit to campaign” fees from politicians.

“Nagpapasalamat kami dun sa mga kababayan natin dyan sa Compostela Valley na nagreport ng presence ng mga armado na nanghaharang nanghaharass sa mga kababayan natin,” Bautista said.

The area where the communist rebels put up a roadblock in New Bataan was also identified as one the areas affected by Typhoon Pablo in December.

Bautista, one of the brains behind the military’s current anti-insurgency plan Oplan Bayanihan, also reiterated the importance of the participation of different stakeholders to put an end to armed struggle.

“It’s about time we get together as a nation to finally put an end to violence, to armed struggle, that’s not the solution to our problem,” Bautista said. “It’s a Jurassic concept … passé,” he said.

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  • patriotic_act

    instill patriotism to our society, make military science subject included in the curriculum of schools as early as elementary, no training required only knowledge and advantages of being a soldier, this can inspire those kids and filter out those who will take being a soldier seriously in the future.. atleast when they get into highschool they will take the CAT Training seriously and embrace it in a way like no other than plain school requirement.

    and another thing, increase the benefits and salary of soldiers..

    • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

      takot sa rotc mga anak ng congressmen.

      • WeAry_Bat

        if there are weak (i mean psychologically) children of the rich and lawmakers, let them go.

        they would be a liability in the battlefield anyway.

      • Iyen Dev

        Babayaran lang ang sundalo galing sa hirap para ibala sa kalaban.

    • WeAry_Bat

      yes, we should become a military-police state.

      • buttones

        Yes we can dress our kids up in ‘brown shirts’ to march to school, instead
        of school uniforms, they could even carry pretend guns and march to the sound
        of a drum…..

    • Pinaslover

      Well said..

    • buttones

      I disagree that children should be taught military ‘science’- whatever that
      means. This does not lead on to ‘patriotism’, other than places like NK. Kids
      should be taught the 3 R’s and the traditional sciences, history and political
      science, not the ‘art of war’. This sounds like an Orwellian concept. If people
      want to join the armed forces after school this is where they will get trained
      for ‘war’ or defense or whatever – NOT in our classrooms.. No civilized country
      does this.

      • patriotic_act

        I beg to clear up.. you probably misinterpreted what I suggest.

        I dont really mean military science as a subject where you teach children the importance of war, what I suggest is to “inspire” them with “stories” of how soldiers are important for the security of our country.. show them the paratroopers, the navy seals, the marines in their uniforms with gadgets and equipment, show the helicopter pilots in their recons.. we will indeed NOT show blood, gore and conflict to these children.. only the good things being a serviceman can do.. and the benefits they can get from it.. and the service they can give to our country.

        in this way we will be able to “filter” those who will show an “interest” within the kids.. we are not forcing them.. merely trying to find the “soldier gene” within the pool of youths that can become true patriots in the future.

        atleast some of them will talk about it.. some will not pay attention.. some will be curious.. some will be interested that when they reach highschool they can treat mandatory CAT Training with lot more pride.. unlike way back when kids find it a “burden” than a necessity.

      • buttones

        Ok, fine- some of this actually comes under modern history, the stories you speak of. Or maybe current affairs? But the rest still seems like an AFP recruitment program on impressionable minds. I think this should wait until after High School or college. On a sort of ‘Careers Day’ with Army Navy and Air Force guys encouraging a career in the AFP, along with organizations like TEDSA, the PNP and so on…

      • patriotic_act

        true, but by that time and age those kids will be hooked up on computer games and DOTA etc..

        atleast the story-telling and exaggeration type of approach can atleast tickle the minds of elementary students.. give them an iPad with an interactive demonstration of helicopers and naval ships in action.. night vision goggles and thermal imaging technology.. will not be totally forced unto them if they dont like it.. just to include it half an hour everyday or 1 hour every week.

      • buttones

        If the kids are hooked on video games [and probably are] they would take to your suggestion like ducks to water! Looking at what’s going on in the hi tec field of modern warfare, unmanned drones, and even under the sea, plus aerospace, a kid with a knack for video games will do very well! So long as they have the intelligence and education to know that it is NOT a game at all, it is absolutely lethal. PH are not at that stage of course, our AFP is, for one reason or another, 20 years behind. To honest with you I don’t know how our AFP recruit; do they seek out the brightest and the best? Do they promote a career in AFP, I’ve never seen advertisements extolling the virtues of a career in AFP… never.

      • patriotic_act

        oh well I wont argue with you anymore as I will respect your view, but my view stays, I always make sure I recommend something what I think will be best for the future.. you have your point tho and I will not take that away from you..

        I really love my country and hope in my lifetime I will see it progress.. unlike what Marcos foresaw 20 years ago I want to see a strong RP 20 years from now.. and boy I bet im still alive by then.. and I think im going to become a part of that change.

        lets just wait and see which one will come to reality..

      • ARIKUTIK

        Basically national defense lies on its citizens, soldier or not. That is the absolute truth in times of war or invasion but in times of rebellion. Who is actually defending the country. The rebels or the puppet military? In PH, the Army is defending the foreign miners plundering our fertile land. In times of election let the candidates kill each other who cares. It is better that they may all die. Especially the Dynasty tribe.

        As for AFP advertisement to recruit soldiers. There is no need for that, hundreds of thousands including University graduates are lining up to join AFP for the simple reason that there is high Unemployment rate. Some join the navy to chase girls all over 7,000 islands, some just want to pull the trigger but 99% can not find job anywhere. There is no need for CAT. Violent gangs including fraternities are all over schools more than enough training for defense. No need for too much soldier also, no country will dare attack 100 million hard headed Filipinos. All we need is good governance where justice prevails then peace and prosperity will be upon us.

      • Pinaslover

        I disagree on this part ..bout naval ships, arms..etc..being exposed to children. Let children be children. Parents and teachers should teach them good values and nationalism instead. Inspire them how noble to serve the country is..and that soldiers only fight for peace and not to oppress. A soldier without love and compassion is tantamount to evil. Nazis had too much love for Germany but they lack love and compassion for humankind.

        Just like you, I want to see my country rich and strong. Our history tells that we are both lovers and fighters. Mabuhay at God bless you Philippines. ;)

      • ARIKUTIK

        The best education is to let boys chase girls while girls pretends to run away with out actually going far enough. This is the way life should be ….. weeeeeeee >>>>>>>>>>> Bye….. byeeeeee >>>>>>>>>

      • RiverHorse

        and that’s why we are becoming a nation of sissies and cry-babies.

      • buttones

        Because we don’t teach our children the ‘science’ of warfare? Well for example, the British nor the Germans don’t either, they teach the things I mentioned, and I can hardly describe those two nations as being cry babies and sissies…

    • Platypus09

      That is true. I agree, they need to be compensated well so they have no excuse to resort to bribery and corrupt practices, plus for recruitment purposes. And if they resort to corruption, it is their call and they go prosecuted right away.

      I was gonna say, “Now, these generals, represented by this guy Bautista, are talking?” Why just now?

      Why didn’t they ask for more soldiers to begin with, from long time ago? Did they just realize that? This surprises me. Something is wrong with this picture. Maybe they thought that people will take care of their issues and their crimes without police or military’s involvement?

      This bothers me. What kind of generals we have? Do they really think? Were they not thinking before? Or they just started thinking because the President started to look at their performance, seemingly not good performance?

      These generals should think at the top of their heads all the time at any time or any minute and ask for resources right away if new trends and new reports come into their desks from north to southern Philippines, and be in total alert in order to prevent crimes to happen.

      These generals, and all other government officials appointed or elected, should be PROACTIVE, and NOT REACTIVE.

      Obviously, with so many issues in our country, plus 100 million population, those are valid reasons to ask for more and more soldiers from our government, even long time ago.

      By proactive, you are preventing crimes or killings to occur, most of them are preventable if our military, AFP and police, know what they are doing, REGARDLESS of who is the President sitting in the Malacanang Palace chair.

      At least, they started talking something sensible, I guess.

      • patriotic_act

        best observation my friend!

        the problem indeed in our military and police law enforcers is their propensity to be reactive than proactive.. imagine that kind of mentality? its dangerous because somebody is bound to get killed..

        because they are simply waiting for something to happen before acting on it.. yeah ok they can get the bad guys.. but can they get back the life of that bad guy’s victim? nobody can tell how a bad guy think.. even if you already submitted to a hold-up for example you can never be so sure they wont stick that icepick in you or punch the bullet of their guns through you..

        so as to our military.. they wait first for the problem and the president berating them before making an effort to fix it..

        shame isnt it?

    • Billy Reyes

      military class in any school curriculum should be completely remove its not working at all. Look at singing our national anthem & raising our flag everyday before school class to boost up our love for our country that doesn’t work too., most of us become corrupt doesn’t know what “Love for country Means”.
      Our students are exhausted & wasting time for this ceremony.
      I agree with lifting up the moral of our soldiers by increasing the benefits, give support & recognized them.
      The PSG is an organization that are very disciplined & organized I saw the documentary of it why they could not turn our Police force like the Presidential Security Group.

      • Pio Gante

        and you let your leg pulled by a dramatic presentation?

    • rodben

      Correct po kyo Gen. Bautista sana ipabalik nyo po ang CAT sa high school para sa akin ito ang tulay para maging loyal sa bansa ang mga bata at the same time mabibigyan pa ng trabaho agad ang mga high school graduate na di kyang mag college di tulad ngayon pagkatapos ng high school recruit ng mga NPA tuturuan mangutong sa mga magsasaka at maging tamad at bibigyan agad ng baril para mapaniwala na walang silbi ang gobyerno kya hayan mga magsasaka nag e- squatter sa Manila sa pananakot ng mga rebelding ito at pati sa manila may NPA na rin panahon ni Macoy di sila maka proma kaya masaya magsasaka…at mga karatig bansa natin nagpapalakas narin ng pwersa kya umpisahan nyo na po kahit huli na tyo…kayang kaya parin natin humabol magbigay lang malaking sweldo sa militar tyak maraming magkakatrabaho at lalaki rin income ng gobyernoi dahil magbabayad din sila ng TAX at gaganda economeya dahil mamimili rin sila araw2 di tulad ngayon kmi lang yata OFW ang malakas mag-shopping kaysa mga sundalo natin…OPINION LANG PO GEN. BAUTISTA MULA SA HAMAK AT HINAHAMAK NA OFW MABUHAY KYO SIR…

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    tinanggal nyo rotc. hinayaan nyo npa, pinalaya nyo mga abu, milf, mnlf, nakipagsabwatan pa kayo sa kapulisan., dami magnanakaw sa hanay nyo. sino pa gusto sumali sa inyo.

    • pepito gwaps

      ha.ha. tama…mahilig magtanggal ng magtanggal kaya ngayon kunti na lang natira at ang ibay mga corrupt pa….lol

    • RiverHorse

      mga bakla nagpatanggal ng rotc. ayaw maarawan at mahirapan ng mga bading!

  • Juan Der Ful

    Lugi negosyo kung wala na rebelde…wala na budget…

  • $20926843

    This budget constraint could be partially addressed if this inconsequential Regime with its inutile and autistic president will have the political will and leadership to streamline the AFP’s number of AFP Regional Commands and Army Infantry Divisions and Brigades in order to reduce the number of Generals being paid by taxpayers which is doing nothing but scratching their balls in their air conditioned offices and most often playing golf.

    • buttones

      Too many chiefs and not enough Indians eh? You maybe right. They should
      privatize the accounting/ payroll/ benefits/ payables, receivables of AFP, make
      sure no Generals can get their hands on a single dime as well..

  • Simoun Magaalahas

    Ibalik natin muli ang ROTC sa kolehiyo hindi puro civic welfare lang ang ginagawa, hindi natin magagamit ang walis tingting at tambo sa oras ng digmaan .Kailangan natin ng kaalaman sa pagtatanggol sa bayan at sa ating pamilya sa oras ng digmaan…

  • Iyen Dev

    Wala kasing ‘Sex Appeal’ maging sundalo sa mahirap na bansa.A corrupt Gov’t is a corrupt Military.Ang daming tambay sa Pilipinas why can’t they join the force?Dapat magkaroon ng batas na lahat dadaan sa Military Service khit 2 years lang.No exemptions!

    • Pio Gante

      anong wala? eh sa jaguar na spic and span andaming katabang na laglag ang panty yun pa kayang naka camouflage:))

  • Iyen Dev

    The National Defense protects the National Interest.Who’s interest are they protecting?The rich, the famous, and the acquisitors. Poor Filipino soldiers,they thought they are fighting for the country!They give one for soldier, they take nineteen.Be thankful, they don’t take it all!

  • patriotic_act

    one more thing we need to do is to “militarized” the PNP.. just like how the old PC and Metrocom worked..

    in this way police cadets will get military-grade training and if conflicts find us all of them can function as soldiers and not merely civilian police..

    this will also bring back the police to the military-type of justice system where they will be court-martialed once a complained is filed and can be temporarily dismissed from service while their case is being heard.

    a common police right now is not under military-type justice and can enjoy typical civil-based “due process” which we all know can “crawl for years” and that happens with the police still in service even with his case being heard.. this is why some complaints against police are either dismissed or thrashed because complainants lose interest.. or being forced to quit because of threats.

  • Eagle from davao

    Instead of increasing the numbers of soldiers,we need to spend on combat mobility and force projection. 1000 troops without mobility is useless compared to 100 troops with combat mobility ,personal body armor , and force projection. We need modern communication systems, IFV’s ,all weather helicopters , sea crafts, air assets and modern artillery,modern surviellance and intelligence gathering system. These are force multipliers.

    • CommonSens6

      OK Eagle 1 where did you get you military education? I suspect you’d been there and done that!

  • jpastor

    Maximize. Better equip and well train army. Lean and mean. No to corrupt generals and rouge soldiers. They degrade soldiers status to society.

  • tagaDumantay

    Dapat ipatawag sa military training pag nasa edad na at tambay lang. Pagkatapos ng training mag duty sa engineering battalion at maggawa ng mga tulay at karsada sa mga liblib na lugal. After two years, release na at panibagong recruit.

  • $18209031

    There should be new military schools set up in Visayas and Mindanao . Lumang tugtugin na ang Fort Del Pilar. They have produced so many generals that are corrupt to the core when they should be the symbols of national integrity based on their core values of honor ,duty and integrity. One of those was the dead general R Reyes and many more. Budget should be allocated to build two new military schools and what s more fitting but to set them up in Visayas and Mindanao.

  • kontra_boohaya

    Put warm bodies in place of the ghost soldiers. Yehey! Kailangan daw ang mas marami pang sundalo para pakuyakuyakoy lang sila sa kampo. Ang daming sundalo sa mga deta detachments na yan pero ala namang ginagawa kundi “secure” ng secure ng mga lords, fiesta, politicians at siempre ang bolahan sa barangay. Kaya di nakakapagtaka kung bakit may mga checkpoints din mga armadong tao na wala s agobierno.

  • globe_smart_sun

    More Cafgu`s Please!

  • Concur_Dissent

    Philippines don’t need additional soldiers, what it needs is additional budget resources and acquisition of modern equipment, no matter how many more soldiers we can raise, if they are not provided with adequate equipment, the military can not be effective as a modern fighting unit….

    The current military budget of $3B is only 1% of GDP…whereas Malaysia whose only military problem is Kiram has an annual budget of $5B or 2% of their GDP

  • Albert Einstien

    CORRECT GENERAL…our country is too weak that even a small country like malaysia controlled our economy & political leaders..for 50 years now…WE need VISIONARY PATRIOTIC full blood leaders …who cant be corrupted by foreign powers & money..even we if spend another 1000 years if we dont START now rebuilding our country…we will NEVER PROGRESS as a NATION & PEOPLE…. we keep on electing leaders who are family of TRAITORS, CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT, & LUNATICS…WHY ?…so sad : < (

  • BoyBakal

    No need for more soldiers….wala naman kalaban.
    Yan NPA, tingi tingi lang yan.
    What the AFP should do is bring back the ROTC as reserve in case of war a real war.

  • Bansot

    No army can fight in an empty stomach as they say !!, Instead of increrasing the number of soldiers, we must instead, improve their quality of lives, their benefits, their training, and most of all provide them with modern equipment. We need quality rather than quantity, and that applies from the highest general down to the lowest enlisted man. Budget is not a real constraint if we only manage our funds efficiently and honestly. If some of our generals can divert government funds to enrich themselves, and our lawmakers can give themselves hefty bonuses, surely we can allocate additional budget for those who stake their lives in the defense of our country and in the preservation of our democracy.

  • pepito gwaps

    Hindi na kailangan siguro kasi malapit sa 124 K na ang strength nila. Mas maganda siguro bigyan ng bonus at bilhan ng quality battle gears ang mga sarhento…then pagiimbestigahan yong mga nagiging milyonaryong opisyales ng AFP….kung walang kurap, may bagong combat boots..d ba?

  • delpillar

    AFP needs GHOSTBUSTERS!!! first and foremost.

    20 to 25% of the regular 120K members are ghosts, nagpapakita lang kapag sweldo at minsan wala talaga. Kunukuha ng mga general ang sweldo nila.

    20 to 40% of the officially recruited and recorded 40,000 CAFGU are also ghost members

    20 to 50% of logistics purchase and procurements including gasoline, bullets, bombs are also ghosts orders.


    Then after the ghost soldiers and procurements are gone.
    1. Increase the present 9,000-strong Phil. Marines to 20,000 members.
    2. Increase the present Special Forces BATTALION/Regiment into 1 or 2 DIVISION.
    3. Increase the actual numbers of the Philippine Air Force AIRBORNE unit from the present numbers of only about 100 capable of jumping/parachuting then act as a real infantry fighting soldiers. The real-Airborne soldiers should be at least 2 battalions (800 to 1,000).
    4. The LAD or Light-Armor Division must be real Division of ARMORED assets…. not a division of 4,000-6,000 members (1 division) whose armored assets are only comparable to a company of armored vehicles (50 units of APC and light tanks).
    5. Increase the current SRR (Scout-Rangers Regiment) in to full-battle ready similar to 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. All throughout their tour will be just in the mountains and jungles.
    6. Increase the numbers of the real Navy Frogmen (demolition) Team (of about 200 nationwide) to about 3 battalions nationwide (one readily available in Luzon, one in Visayas and 1 in Mindanao). This frogmen should be separate from the battle-tested frogmen of the Philippine Marines.
    7. Make it compulsory that graduates of Merchant Marine Colleges should be trained as 1st-degree (readily-available) reserve for the Philippine Navy Fighting ships personnel or crews. In times of war, all those employed or currently working as Merchant Marine Engineers/Boilers/Mechanics/Seamen in ships nationwide and worldwide should come to aid his beloved country, the Philippines.

    De-criminalize killing NPA. If you make a law that killing terrorist is legal, you will see that it is not only AFP/PNP and NPA are capable of hitting bullets in-between the eyes.

  • randyaltarejos

    Bago mapunta sa generals ang sweldo ng mga ghost soldiers ay sa mga finance officers muna dumadaan. At wari ko’y kahit yung mga matagal ng patay ay nasa payroll pa rin. Di kaya? Sana nga mali ako. Why can’t the AFP and the police leaderships show a comparative statistics of the existing number of soldiers and cops right now?

    • Pio Gante

      the alpha list at both aguinaldo and crame finance centers which can be openly viewed can help you on that.

  • Pio Gante

    all the uniformed services in the country are top heavy that’s why they should seriously consider chopping off the number of useless command-less senior officers and also integrate several units into lean and mean combat groups.

  • Bobby Magistrado

    Dito ho sa Vienna, Austria, May “magandang batas” sila about military training, all male Austrian citizens between the ages of 18 to 35 are required to undergo training for about 6 mos.. for females it is only optional. but unlike rotc, real & intensive military training ho ito, bale tunay na baril ang hahawakan, sa training camp at sa bundok ho talaga magtraining, pati mga trainors eh mga “active” na sundalo kaya matuto talaga ang mga trainees, around 3 mos ho ito, the remaining 3 mos is up to the trainees if they would like to continue as full-pledged soldiers or complete their training in other govT services e.g. ambulance/first-aid crew or non-combatant military services. Sa mga trainees na mag-aaral/nag-aaral pa may mga allowance sila na natatanggap at libre pamasahe, sa mga iniwan ang trabaho at pamilya danil sa training they are all well-compensated during their training.

    Mandatory ho ang training pero tao ho ang magdedesisyon kung kelan nya gusto just as long na matapos ito before he reaches the age of 35. Usually right after highschool graduation they would receive a letter about their mandatory training.. nasa magulang na at sa bata kung kelan nya gusto, right after highschool or after college usually either of the two lang ang kadalasan pinipili nila para hindi makaistorbo sa pag-aaral. Of course in every rule there is an exemption, hindi lahat ng tao pwede mag-training e.g. physical/mental disablilities .. kaya lahat dumadaan rin sa intensive check-up bago mag-training. yung hindi pwede sa civilian services sila pinapasok.

    At dahil mandatory nga ang training, hindi ho pwede takasan or magpalusot tulad sa atin dahil kulong ang aabutin ng sinuman na hindi dumaan sa training pag-umabot na ng 35 yrs old.. katumbas ho yan ng Desertion… kaya dito lahat nadaan sa training.., nakakatulong ho yan sa mga kabataan basta maayos ang pamamalakad… sa pag-disiplina sa sarili, sa aspeto ng kalusugan at nakakatulong pa sa mga tao at lalo na pag-dating sa giyera ( na sa tingin ko naman eh halos imposibleng mangyari dito) because of Austria´s bad history in war, in which they ended-up as losers.. this country will maintain their status as a neutral nation… i have a 3 y/o son here who is an Austrian citizen, dati kontra ako sa military training pero dahil sa nakikita kong maganda sistema eh payag na payag akong mag-training sya dahil alam kong ,makakatulong eto sa kanya..

    Actually marami naman pong sistema ng ibang bansa na pwedeng gawing huwaran ng ating gobyerno.. pero ayaw naman nilang subukan kc bulok ang sistema sa atin inuuna ang sariling kapakanan, hindi ang sa bayan.. eleksyon na naman at sino ang mga tumatakbo, sino pa nga ba kundi ang mga “kamag-anak corporation”.. “union of actors&actresses”.. “association of traditional politicians” etc etc etc… joskoponaman.. kawawa po ang bansa natin, nungka po tayong aasenso, maganda na raw ekonomiya eh wala ka namang makitang pagbabago… magandang lang sa mga oligarkiya dahil sa kanila bumabagsak ang kita ng bansa.. sa mga ordinaryong Juan de la cruz eh kahit ambon wala.. Wala daw budget para sa bagong sundalo… eh mga Heneral/colonel/major eh milyon milyon ang kinikita taon taon… wala daw budget.. lokohin nyong lelong ninyong panot!!! pwe!!.

  • divictes

    Whatever happened to ” lean and mean”? Our armed forces need better equipment, training and weapons to respond to contingencies. During martial law, the kamagong concept was used. Recruitment was indiscriminate and most recruits ended up as cannon fodder.

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