“For the Philippines and the Filipino people, national security is defined as ‘a state or condition wherein the people’s welfare, well-being, ways of life; government and its institutions; territorial integrity; sovereignty; and core values are enhanced and protected.’”

This was the opening statement of Deputy Director-General Rufino S. Lopez, Jr., of the National Security Council (NSC) during the courtesy call of the participants of the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course and Foreign Service Institute Director-General Claro S. Cristobal on 25 April 2018 as part of the cadets’ National Security Module.

FSOCC participants with Director-General Claro S. Cristobal (6th from the left), Undersecratary Rufino S. Lopez, Jr. (center), and other National Security Council officials at the National Intelligence Coordination Agency

During the courtesy call held at the National Intelligence Coordination Agency Conference Room, Director-General Cristobal affirmed the deep commitment to national security of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The cadets then posed questions about the National Security Policy 2017-2022 and expressed appreciation for the national security briefing delivered by Director Lorenzo A. Clavejo.

Deputy Director-General Lopez added that “the country would be more stable and secure if all departments and agencies of the government observe unanimity and solidarity in the attainment of the national goals.”

NSC Undersecretary Rufino S. Lopez, Jr. sharing with the cadets the importance of collaborating with DFA foreign service posts to resolve national security concerns

On 2 May 2018, the cadets also paid a courtesy call at the Department of National Defense (DND), Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City. During the event, Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna, who was also former Philippine Ambassador to Netherlands, welcomed the cadets.

Acting Assistant Secretary Peter Paul Reuben G. Galvez of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs conducted a defense briefing to the participants discussing the challenges to Philippine national security in terms of the internal, external, and non-traditional security threats. He further explained the reforms within the DND and the priorities of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the context of sovereignty and territorial integrity, internal stability, international engagements and relations, and good governance.

FSOCC participants with DND Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna (center), Brig. Gen. Cornelio H. Valencia (seated, rightmost), and Director Peter Paul Reuben G. Galvez (seated, leftmost)

Also in attendance were Brig. Gen. Cornelio H. Valencia, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans; Assistant Secretary Teodoro Cirilo T. Torralba III of the Office for Assessments and International Affairs; and Lt. Col. Erwin Rommel P. Lamzon.