How did Duterte’s presidency improve national security?

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In addition to the successes of the Duterte administration in the areas of infrastructure and agriculture, as well as in extending the validity of passports and driver’s licenses, former President Rodrigo Duterte was also successful in improving the country’s overall level of national security. The Republic Act No. 11479, which aims to prevent and punish activities related to terrorism and helping the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea, were some of the notable laws and interventions he made to reform our national security. In addition, he helped in helping the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

It is widely acknowledged that the strong support and utilization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by the Duterte administration has been one of the administration’s most successful accomplishments. The prominent involvement of the military in practically all of President Duterte’s projects and activities has garnered both praise and criticism from Filipinos and experts. Even though his program is intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a medical emergency, various troops, and police officers have been seen in multiple parts of the country, particularly in areas with a community lockdown. During the pandemic, armed officers provided assistance and support to hospitals and medical workers in various places, including medical care, transportation, public safety, and maintaining peace and order in the community. Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued an order for the police and armed forces to assist hospitals that have been inundated by patients suffering from COVID-19.

Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte supported the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other armed personnel. This support enhanced the military’s capabilities, equipment, and weapons. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) completed 70 projects on top of the 54 required by Republic Act No. 7898 and Republic Act No. 10349, through his assistance and leadership as Commander-in-Chief. RA 7898 is the act that modernizes the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This involved the relocation or improvement of their facilities and the development of their capacity to assist in the nation’s development.

On the other hand, the Revised Armed Forces Modernization legislation, officially known as RA 10349, is an act of modernization process that will take the AFP 15 years to complete starting in 2012. The initiative was estimated to cost forty billion dollars throughout its fifteen years. Some projects under RA 7898 included enhanced armored vehicles, sniper rifles, grenade and rocket launchers, force protection equipment, and grenade and rocket launchers.

Even though he backed the modernization of the AFP and made certain adjustments to their goals, former President Duterte shifted their priorities away from the focus on external dangers set during the presidency of late President Benigno Aquino and toward counterterrorism and domestic concerns. Marawi City was placed under military control after the war between government troops and terrorists linked with ISIS lasted for five months and caused 98 percent of the population to be displaced. The events that took place on May 23, 2017, brought about the worse changes in the city. More than 400,000 people have been compelled to leave their homes in Marawi and the regions surrounding the city in a little less than a month. Hundreds of innocent civilians were forced to remain in the city during the weeks or months when the city was under siege, either as captives or as those caught in the crossfire. Mental anguish has been brought on due to the tragedy, and it has disrupted the community’s ability to live in peace and security. As a result of the incident, former President Rodrigo Duterte was motivated to push through with RA 11479, popularly known as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

According to AFP chief General Cirilito Sobejana, they were rushing the modernization of AFP to be at the same level as regional rivals. As of 2021, the AFP is currently at 60% of completion. AFP public affairs office chief Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency that the new facilities and personal protective equipment are already available in different units of AFP.

It was one of former President Duterte’s campaign promises to raise the salaries of law enforcement officers and military personnel. Duterte signed the Congress Joint Resolution that modified the Base Pay Schedule for Military and Uniformed Personnel or MUP, which went into effect on January 1, 2018. This was done to demonstrate how important the AFP is to the administration and how much support it receives from it. The average salary at MUP has seen a 58.7 percent increase after Duterte signed the resolution. Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated that the tripling of wages made for MUPs would be changed as cops and soldiers can focus more on their duties, knowing they can feed their families well.

Another program made under the Duterte administration regarding national security concerns was the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or the NFT-ELCAC to end the long-existing insurgency in the country. The program includes localized peace engagement, international engagement, and strategic communication. It was formed on December 4, 2018, hoping to reduce New People’s Army or NPA’s activities. NPA is a military arm of a communist group founded on 1969. The NPA initiated guerilla warfare against the Marcos regime, assassinating officials and ambushing troops. It grew from 350 armed members in 1971 to 20,000 by the late 1980s. The NPA moved from northern Luzon to islands throughout the Philippine archipelago, forming a statewide network of rural and urban followers. By the late 1980s, the NPA was the biggest threat to President Corazon Aquino’s government, with whom it refused to talk, and until now.

Aside from improving counterterrorism in the country, the Duterte administration has also enhanced external alignments and domestic security concerns. His foreign policy included arranging relationships with other nations. One of its strategies was to solve the long-existing dispute between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea and formulate an “independent” foreign policy for the Philippines, to lessen the country’s dependency on the United States of America while simultaneously strengthening ties with China and other non-traditional partners such as Russia. Duterte had already resolved the maritime dispute with China through diplomatic negotiations and said that the country would not engage in war with the country. Duterte maintained the country’s relationship with the United States and continued participating in routine joint military drills.

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