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New Philippine army chief out to ‘win peace’

Publication Date : 18-07-2014


 Incoming Philippine Armed Forces Chief Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang on Thursday said he would lead a military that would be responsive to global challenges as well as the persistent communist insurgency by aiming to “win the peace,” echoing the mantra of his classmate and predecessor, Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.

“We are transitioning to territorial defense because the world has become so globalised that the threats … are likewise global … We have to level up, put a closure to the problem of internal [security] so that we can move forward and face the global challenges in the 21st century,” Catapang told reporters as he and Bautista visited the Asian Defence, Security and Crisis Management Exhibit and Conference (Adas 2014) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Catapang and Bautista, who are both members of  the Philippine Military Academy “Dimalupig” Class of 1981, went from booth to booth at the Adas exhibit, checking out the latest military and security technologies and meeting exhibitors from Israel and other countries.

Catapang said the Philippine military should be able to respond to terrorism, transnational crimes like human trafficking, and arms and drugs smuggling, money laundering, cybercrime, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which continues to be a grave threat in the face of global terrorism.

Without mentioning the Philippines’ problems with China, Catapang said another 21st century challenge concerns maritime security concerns and territorial disputes.
He also said the destructive storms such as “Ondoy,” “Pepeng,” “Ramil” and last year’s “Yolanda” “signal the war on climate change as global warming has spawned supertyphoons.”

The change of command ceremony and testimonial review for Bautista has been set for 10am Friday. This will be followed by Catapang’s formal assumption of the post at a ceremony to be presided over by President Aquino.


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