"The Three Pillars of Philippine Counterterrorism Policy," a Commentary by Alberto G. Romulo

March 15, 2007

Author: Alberto G. Romulo

Source: Manila Times


[Excerpts from the speech given by Dr. Romulo at the Conference on Counterterrorism Cooperation, Jakarta, Indonesia, March 5 and 6, 2007]

The Abu Sayyaf group ... became the main focus of Philippine counterterrorism policy.

This policy rests on three major pillars.

The first is to pursue a broad, comprehensive counterterrorism strategy, with both “hard” and “soft” components.

The “hard” components are aimed at neutralizing the armed capabilities of the terrorists, decimating their leadership, disintegrating their organizational networks, stopping their finances and cutting their links to foreign support,

The “soft” components, on the other hand, focus on separating the terrorists from the rest of the population, addressing the humanitarian and development needs of the latter, reducing the ideological attractiveness of the terrorists and promoting interfaith dialogue and other forms of consultation to strengthen trust, understanding and confidence between communities and sectors.