MANILA -- As part of efforts to combat transnational crimes, newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero is pushing for the enhancement of regional border security with other neighboring countries.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office chief, said Guerrero wants to increase "coordinated patrols" with the Filipino military's ASEAN counterparts.

This is contained in Guerrero's command guidance which plots the courses of action and orders for the line units and offices to follow to ensure that the AFP remains on track on its short- and long-term goals.

For the active border cooperation, the AFP chief hopes to enhance border security with Malaysia and Indonesia through the Trilateral Cooperation Arrangement inked in June 2017 aimed at stopping kidnapping, trafficking, and transit of terror personalities in the Sulu Sea.

“We will also increase the frequency of our coordinated patrols with our ASEAN counterparts in order to prevent the use of our common maritime borders for illegal activities,” Guerrero added.

Moreover, the AFP also banks on the national policy and defense agenda to develop a credible defense force with strengthened naval and air capabilities for more effective monitoring and control of sea lanes and air space.

“For this, we will reinforce our Maritime Domain awareness on our maritime areas of interest particularly our sea lanes of communications. We will also push through with our capability build-up in order to enhance our maritime operations capability,” Guerrero pointed out.

Improvements in the international security engagements including the activation of the International Military Affairs Center are also being sought.

Moreover, the AFP chief also wants to shift the training methodology for the military's peacekeeping units from “involving temporarily formed units to deploying existing units of the AFP.” (PNA)