Brother-in-arms: PH, South Korean armies forge stronger ties

Published January 21, 2022, 3:30 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine Army (PA) and the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) on Thursday, Jan. 20, agreed to deepen their collaboration and expand programs that will benefit both parties while ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., commanding general of the Philippine Army, shows his signed copy of the PA-Republic lf Korea Army (ROKA) Terms of Reference that will strengthen the military-to-military engagements of both armies in a virtual ceremony on Jan. 20, 2022. (Courtesy of Philippine Army)

Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., PA commanding general, and Gen. Nam Yeongshin, ROKA Chief of Staff, signed the “Terms of Reference” (TOR) which will “further cement ties between the two armies” in a virtual ceremony.

The PA-ROKA Terms of Reference establishes an Army-to-Army level collaboration in accordance with the June 2018 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) and South Korea’s Ministry of Defense (MoD).

“I have this hope that through this TOR, the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea will have an ironclad alliance that is ready to face security and defense challenges not only in our respective countries but [also] in the Indo-Pacific region,” Brawner said.

The TOR covers an array of engagements between Manila and Tokyo including reciprocal visits, mutual exchange of army-related insights and information, military education and training, logistics and maintenance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, military medicine and medical support, and subject matter expert exchanges.

It also enables both armies to collaborate in areas of military technology, research and development, military sports and cultural activities, and other areas of mutual interests.

Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) Chief of Staff, Gen. Nam Yeongshin speaks during the virtual signing of the Philippine Army (PA)-ROKA Terms of Reference that will further cement ties between the two Armies on January 20, 2022. (Courtesy of Philippine Army)

Meanwhile, Gen. Nam congratulated Brawner for his recent promotion. Brawner was designated as the Army chief last Dec. 10, 2021 and got promoted to a three-star general.

Gen. Nam also recalled the Philippine Army’s assistance to South Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s.

A total of 7,420 Filipino officers and personnel from the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) defended South Korea from Chinese and South Korean invaders and communist forces during the war.