Teodoro: AFP's shift from internal to external defense needs legislation | Inquirer News

Teodoro: AFP’s shift from internal to external defense needs legislation

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 06:20 PM November 28, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Shifting the country’s defenses from internal to external threats will require legislation, according to Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro on Tuesday.

Shortly after preliminary peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines were announced in Malcañang, Teodoro explained that Republic Act 8551, or the “Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998,” puts the internal defense on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“Our formal transition needs to be legislated because Republic Act 8551 states that internal security is the primary responsibility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. So our legislators will have to participate in the process,” Teodoro said in an ambush interview.

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However, Teodoro said he could not provide a timeline, saying that it would be dangerous and unsustainable.

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Teodoro added that geopolitical situations in the world are a catalyst to the transition.

“We have an external actor who is acting irresponsibly and aggressively in the West Philippine Sea and it’s high time, because of the world conditions that the volatility of geopolitical security, not only in the Asean theater, in our own environs, but in the world, necessitates a defense establishment that is a threat agnostic, but also geared towards addressing our vulnerabilities to external threats, and the infusion of internal and external threats too,” he said.

While Teodoro did not specify a country, China has been the consistent aggressor on the West Philippine Sea, claiming waters in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

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TAGS: AFP, Defense, external, Teodoro, WPS

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