- AFP plans to create an all-Muslim fighting unit
- The Muslim Filipino soldiers will be deployed in areas where Islam is the predominant religion
- Muslims perceive the deployment of 100% Christian soldiers in their communities as invading forces
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it hopes to establish a battalion of Muslim soldiers that will be deployed to areas where Islam is the predominant religion.
AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said in a statement Saturday, April 15, that AFP will set aside 5% of the total applicants for Muslim Filipinos in its future recruitments.
“The AFP Chief of Staff, General Eduardo Año, ordered the allocation of a maximum of 5% of the total number of aspirants in the AFP either as officers, cadets, or enlisted personnel for our Muslim brothers and sisters,” Arevalo said.
“We desire an Armed Forces of the Philippines that shall represent a cross-section of our society. We would like to ensure that as we modernize, we would not be focusing our attention only in armaments and equipment, but in empowering specific sectors within the AFP like women, indigenous peoples, and Muslims,” he added.
“Muslim soldiers will comprise the units best deployable to Muslim communities because of their being abreast of the culture and knowledgeable of the sensitivities of the Islam religion,” Rappler quoted Arevalo as saying.
Arevalo said the deployment of 100% Christian soldiers in their communities is being perceived by most of our Muslim brothers and sisters as invading forces.