MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said it has received Information Technology (IT) and multimedia equipment worth P2.7 million from the Australian government.
AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana received the donation in a ceremony held at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, June 23.
“With these newly donated IT and multimedia equipment, the AFP will be able to amplify its capability of preventing and countering violent extremism, here in our country,” General Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.
Among the donated equipment were high-tech computers, tablets, storage devices, smart TVs, cameras, and audio recording components.
The donation was under the mutually agreed Australia-Philippines Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program.
Australian Defence Attaché Colonel Paul Joseph Barta said these equipment will help the AFP in its efforts to counter the threat of terrorism in the Philippines.
“The equipment will assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ office for the prevention and countering of violent extremism research to achieve its mission – by documenting and understanding the drivers of radicalization, effective strategies for prevention of violent extremism can be found,” Barta said.
Sobejana expressed gratitude to the Australian government and the Australian Defence Force for the donation.
“Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the Australian Government and the Australian Defence Force for their continued support to the AFP in the ongoing fight against terrorism. It is through these initiatives that our members become more empowered to fulfil their mandate to secure the state and protect the Filipino people,” he said.
With the new equipment, the AFP said access and exchange of information among military allies shall be made more available and secured.
It also assured it continues to strengthen its counter-terrorism capabilities within the cyberspace where access to available information is critical.
“We have already made great strides in enhancing our capabilities in the cyberspace environment. However, we do acknowledge that much is still needed,” Sobejana said.
“After the grueling Marawi siege in 2017 against the ISIS-Maute Group, and the lessons that we have to learn the hard way, the AFP is more than determined to prevent any incidents of the same nature from ever happening in the future,” he added.