Philippine Army (PA) chief, Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto met with Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz to exchange views on counter-terrorism at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Tuesday.
Harpaz’s courtesy call is in line with the Counter-Terrorism Trainers Training (CTTT) between the PA and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) being conducted at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija from Monday to Wednesday.
During his visit, the Israeli official recalled the time when former President Manuel L. Quezon opened the Philippines to 1,300 Jewish refugees from Europe in 1937 to 1941.
He said this gesture is one of the reasons why Filipinos are welcome in Israel even without a travel visa.
Alberto added the PA is looking forward to more training exchanges with Israel, so as to raise the Army’s determination to defeat the terrorism threat.
And in light of the recent terror attack in Sulu, the army chief stressed the need for the country to learn from the Israeli Defense Force’s years of experience and victories on counter-terrorism.
He also emphasized that the mandatory military service in Israel is also a key in addressing terrorism.
“Be strong,” Harpaz told the audience composed of high-ranking officers of the PA.
“We cannot have a 100 percent success against terrorism but we must continue to share our experiences on how to best address it,” the Israeli official added.
After the call, the Army commanding general and Harpaz flew to Fort Magsaysay to observe the ongoing CTTT.
“The Philippine Army recognizes the evolving security environment in the country and its neighboring states. Thus. we welcome the help of our international counterparts in enhancing our counter-terrorism capabilities through various training and information exchange,” Alberto said. (PNA)