• AFP open to jungle training with Brazil

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    THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed willingness to take part in the joint jungle warfare training with the Brazilian Army as proposed by Brazil’s Army commander.

    “If our government will accept [the invitation], then the Philippine Army will be very willing to be part of it. The more training experience with other armies, the better for our troops,” said Col. Benjamin Hao, Philippine Army spokesman, said over the weekend.

    Hao was reacting to an earlier report that Gen. Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Boas, Brazil’s Army commander, has expressed interest in conducting joint jungle warfare training between the two countries.

    Boas reportedly brought out the matter during a recent meeting with Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Jose D.R. Burgos.

    Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office said Boas’ proposal is a recognition of the importance of joint and combined exercises for future inter-operability of allied forces.

    Besides the jungle warfare training, the Brazilian commander also proposed that both countries conclude an anti-drug trafficking cooperation agreement even as he cited his country’s crime problem as a result of rampant drug smuggling and drug use.

    The Brazilian Federal Police, according to Boas, has estimated that 80 percent of crimes committed in the country are drug-related.

    FERNAN MARASIGAN

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