Government to continue building up ‘exemplary’ Army special forces

2023 June 25

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. 


MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday assured members of the Philippine Army’s Special Forces Regiment Airborne (SFRA) that his administration will continue to strengthen their capabilities.

Marcos made the commitment during the 61st anniversary of the SFRA at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

“We assure you of the administration’s unassailable commitment and that of your commander-in-chief’s support in all of your undertakings, strengthening your capabilities, and ensuring your welfare and that of your families,” Marcos said in his speech.

Marcos said the government has adopted the Riverine Operations Equipment Project (ROEP) which is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization.

He said this will further improve the capabilities of the SFRA in riverine operations, referring to the insertion and extraction of special forces troops for rescue and other special military operations.

During the event, Marcos also expressed his gratitude to the “the fortitude and prowess of the men and women in the special forces who dedicated their lives to public service.”

“Extensively trained in unconventional warfare [and] equipped with various tools and capabilities, the members of the SFRA have proven themselves valuable in both wartime and peacetime operations,” he said.

“From combating terrorist groups in the country to supporting peacekeeping operations overseas, we have demonstrated competence and professionalism even in the most challenging times.” 

Marcos cited SFRA’s fourth Special Forces Battalion’s efforts that led to the rescue of 316 individuals from a burning passenger marine vessel of Aleson Shipping Lines bound for Jolo Port in March.

The President also congratulated the awardees of the SFRA’s 61st anniversary for their exemplary performance and contributions to the regiment.

“You have exemplified self-sacrifice and resilience, going beyond the call of duty to safeguard communities towards the attainment of internal security and of peace and the Republic. I think it would be safe to say that you have lived up to your name as the: ‘Silent Professionals’,” he said.

“Truly, you have not only played pivotal roles in times of battles but have also become dependable sentinels for the Filipino people. Through the responses for humanitarian assistance, you have created a ripple of hope in our communities [and] increased our people’s trust in the military and in the government.”  

Marcos urged the SFRA to continue to support the Filipino people in times of crisis.

“On this note, we enjoin you to keep aiding fellow Filipinos by supporting them in times of crisis. Ensure their safety and well-being during operations and uphold the moral of the people that you serve,” Marcos said.

“May you all continue to train and empower yourselves in maintaining your standing as experts of unconventional warfare strategies.”

National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., Special Assistant to the President Secretary Anton Lagdameo, and other members of the Cabinet likewise attended the SFRA’s anniversary.

They were joined by AFP chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino, Philippine Army Commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., Northern Luzon Commander Lt. Gen. Fernyl Buca, and SFRA commander Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Napuli.

Anna Leah Gonzales (PNA)