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Gov’t to hire 40,000 soldiers

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The government is considering the hiring of 40,000 government troops and the acquisition of drones and other equipment to efficiently address future threats to the nation’s security.

President Duterte announced plans to save money to build a stronger military, recognizing the recent casualties in the battle against Islamic State-sponsored terrorism and communist insurgency.

“I would need about 35 to 40,000 to meet the future threats coming our way from within and outside the country,” the President said in a media interview after delivering his State-of-the-Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City last Monday.

“We must have a strong Republic to withstand all threats and challenges. Today’s reality demands, necessitates an Armed Forces that is strong. Ang gawin ko sa pera muna is I will build a credible Armed Forces that can fight at all fronts everywhere,” he said.

Duterte admitted that the country was in troubled and uncertain times amid the persistent threat posed by the Islamic State and the New People’s Army.

Apart from recruiting more soldiers, Duterte said he would start to re-arm government troops and enhance their combat skills training.

The commander-in-chief said he intends to buy high-altitude planes and drones to help soldiers defeat terrorists and insurgents. He noted that he intends to accept two aircraft offered to the government.

“I will prepare my Armed Forces on war footing kasi may giyera,” he said. “You can expect after two years a very strong Armed Forces. I will buy all the equipment,” Duterte added.

The President bared plans to strengthen the military’s security capability after halting the peace negotiations with the communist rebels over their recent attacks on troops.