Philippine president vows reform in military

MANILA, Nov. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured Monday that reforms would be initiated inthe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) amid recent reports thatthere were renewed efforts to destabilize the administration.

"We are rolling out inexorable reforms in the AFP and there is no turning back. We will modernize and bring up the Armed Forces to the high standards of efficiency and effectiveness both in combat and in non-combat military missions," Arroyo said in a statement.

Arroyo underscored the need to advance professionalism in the military to "drive our quest for national security and the rule of law."

"The AFP will be the cutting edge of internal reform, counter terrorism and humanitarian offensives," she said.

Arroyo also acknowledged the US help in modernizing the military, saying "We will take down terrorists and secure the peace. With the support of earnest allies such as the United States, we shall bring the soldiers at par with the steep challenges of the 21st century."

In his October state visit to the country, US President George W. Bush offered support for Arroyo in making the military more effective against local insurgents and al-Qaeda-linked militant groups.

Earlier, Philippine Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced Sunday a 25-member group had been created to carry out reforms in the military over five years, as recommended by Philippine and US experts to respond to security threats in the country. Enditem

17/11/2003

Bron : China View

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