Shifting Identities: The Emerging Roles of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Leslie ADVINCULA-LOPEZ , Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon, Philippines
Since the 1950s, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been utilizing civil-military operations (CMO) as one of the main strategies in combating local insurgency. The diversity of insurgency movements with its complex cultural, religious and historical origins necessitates the evolution of CMO strategies implemented through the years. In the latest Internal Peace and Security Plan of the AFP (January 2011) called “Bayanihan,”   the role of the non-combat civil-military operations and development oriented activities of the AFP was once again reiterated. 

Broadly, this paper examines how the emerging CMO technology being adopted by the AFP impinges on the construction of the self-identity of the members of the Philippine Marines. The study finds the shifting of identities from that of a “warrior” primarily concerned with the management and application of violence to that of a “protector” defining themselves as primary agents of peacekeeping and humanitarian work. At the same time, these reformulations of identities also provide the avenue for the members of the AFP to redefine the character and nature of their relationships with the other agents and institutions of the Philippine state.