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PH military needs 25,000 new soldiers mostly to fight insurgency, terrorism

/ 06:47 PM October 04, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the recruitment of 25,000 additional soldiers mainly to address communist insurgency and terrorism.

Most of the new recruits will join the Philippine Army, the largest service branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Friday.

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The supplementary troops are seen to fast track the government’s campaign to end local armed conflict and terrorism. Currently, the entire AFP has a strength of 140,000 troops, with about 96,000 coming from the Army.

The new quota is on top of the 5,300 additional needed troops for the Army that was announced earlier this year. Zagala did not say, however, the exact number of soldiers that will go to the Army out of the 25,000 troop requirements. The Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy will also have their share.

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“We call on the best and the brightest to take this opportunity to be part of our nation-building efforts by serving the people and securing the land,” he said.

Duterte has expressed several times that he is determined to finish the decades-long communist insurgency in the country within his term.

After peace talks with communist rebels had failed to go forward, he then ordered to create a task force to end local communist armed conflict.

The Philippines is facing various security threats ranging from insurgency, terrorism to external threats like Chinese incursions in Philippine waters. /kga

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