The National Defense College of the Philippines, led by President LtGen Ferdinand M Cartujano PAF (Ret), held an exploratory meeting with Dr Vinzenz Huzel and Ms Shenna Kim Carisma of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Philippines; and LtCol Bugash of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP-OJ8) last 3 November 2022, to discuss plans for OPLAW activities in the coming years. Mr. Manmar Francisco, Acting Chief of the Research and Special Studies Division (RSSD), and Special Studies Section personnel from the RSSD also attended the meeting.
The discussion includes plans for the OPLAW seminar(s) for the year 2023 and beyond, as well as the possibility of amending the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among the NDCP-FES-OJ8 that would further enhance the cooperation among these partners and the sustainability of OPLAW initiatives.
In accordance with the Strategic Guidance of the Department of National Defense, the College, as one of DND’s bureaus, implements the said strategic guidance through OPLAW. In particular, OPLAW aims to strengthen engagements with key partners like FES to promote educational programs that enhance understanding of diverse issues related to national defense and security.
The OPLAW is a tripartite partnership among the NDCP, FES, and AFP with the goal of promoting international law, security sector reform, and the legitimate use of force while pursuing national security interests. Specifically, OPLAW aims to enhance participants’ understanding of the legal aspects and obligations and their practical application to planning and conducting military operations, and to familiarize them with the fundamentals of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (HR) Law as they apply to international and non-international armed conflicts. The seminar primarily trains military practitioners but also those civilians who exercise political control over the armed forces.
By: Jun Karlo Laroza