By Priam Nepomuceno

BOOSTING COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE. AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Maj. Gen. Ferdinand Barandon (center) unfurl the banner of the military’s Counter-Intelligence Group during its reactivation ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday (Jan. 18, 2024). The unit will assist the military’s activities aimed at neutralizing espionage efforts by other countries and their agents. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – A ranking military official said Friday the reactivated Armed Forces of the Philippines Counter-Intelligence Group (AFPCIG) would help the service’s counter-intelligence operations nationwide.

“(Its mission is) to conduct counter-intelligence nationwide to support the AFP mission,” AFP public affairs office chief, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, said in a message to the Philippine News Agency when asked about the mandate of the AFPCIG.

Trinidad, citing security reasons, did not provide other details on how these missions would be carried out.

Counter-intelligence refers to military activities aimed at neutralizing espionage efforts by other countries and their agents.

Trinidad said the AFPCIG was ordered reactivated based on a Jan. 11 memorandum issued by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

The AFPCIG was organized and activated on Dec. 29, 1989, and was deactivated in 1995. It is distinct from the Intelligence Service of the AFP.

During the AFPCIG’s reactivation ceremony on Thursday, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. emphasized the important role of the unit in securing the nation in an ever-shifting global landscape and encouraged its members to strive for excellence, embrace innovations, and uphold the highest standards of integrity.

“To the valiant men and women of the AFPCIG, the security of our beloved nation rests upon your capable shoulders. Your tireless efforts will ensnare any threats and guarantee the safety of our treasured citizens. May the AFP Counter-Intelligence Group ascend to unimaginable heights, preserving the rights and liberties of our great nation,” he said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier directed the AFP to “reconfigure our approaches to dealing with the different threat groups” being faced by the country. (PNA)