Ang Kasangga Partylist Representative believes PH needs modern reserve force amid conflict with China

The Scarborough conflict with China and the increasing display of aggression of North Korea only betrays the country's need to review its foreign and defense policies, Ang Kasangga Partylist Rep. Teodorico Haresco, Jr. declared today.

Ang Kasangga Partylist Rep. Teodorico Haresco, Jr"The current stalemate in the South China Sea highlights our defenseless defenses," declared Haresco who urged the government to push AFP modernization, including the revitalization of the AFP
reserve forces which has long been neglected in terms of logistics and funding support.

He said it is vital for the world to know that the Filipinos are solidly behind its government's stand in defense of its national sovereignty.

"We are but pawns in the international power play among global powers but we must play their game without jeopardizing national patrimony," he stressed, adding that "we must as a nation be ready to defend its integrity."

The partylist Ang Kasangga lawmaker said that China will only promote and pursue self-interest notwithstanding the glaring dictates of reason as shown by its strong refusal to bring the issue before an international arbitration.

"Let us not be complacent and just wait for China’s good will because that is next to impossible. We are dealing with national interests and China, with all its might, will never surrender to reason," Haresco said.

China's calculated moves, including the current military exercises with the Russian Navy, is but a show for the world to know it has what it takes to counter the current PH-US military exercise.

"The Chinese would want to let the Americans know it is ready to meet the American strategic designs in the Asian region," Haresco surmised.

But for sure, at this time of economic resurgence, both China and the United States would not want to jeopardize their mutual economic benefits in the wake of an evolving new global order, Haresco said.

"The bottom line is, we are really on our own. We are as good as how useful we are to the global powers," Haresco said.

Haresco, a marine reservist has been consistently calling for the modernization not just the frontline units of the AFP but also its corps of reservists.

Haresco noted that apart from ensuring that the country can mobilize a decent reserve force to repel external aggression, the country's reserve command can be the most effective force multiplier in
assisting victims of natural and man-made calamities.

"The Reserve Command has to be modernized and its capabilities should be improved. It should start by conducting a full audit of its reservists because only the active reserves are being mobilized during disasters but not the ready reserves," Haresco said.

At present, Haresco lamented that the AFP's Reserve Command including those under its various service commands are neglected, poorly funded and lack proper training and motivation. He said that except for its active reserve force, the AFP has no real inventory of its reserve forces.