Sep 162014
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
2006-01-12 10:18
2011-08-30 01:44
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MANILA 000171



E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2016


Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary. The Philippines faces multiple terrorist
threats. The US Mission in Manila coordinates a robust
interagency program of counterterrorism training and
technical assistance, and hopes further to expand such
efforts in FY 2006-2008, if additional funds are available.
As part 1 of a two-part series in response to reftel, this
telegram covers our training programs. Part 2 will cover
assistance efforts. End Summary.

¶2. (C) The Philippines is on the front line in the global
war on terrorism. It faces multiple threats ranging from the
al-Qaida linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Abu Sayyaf Group
(ASG), and Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) to the indigenous
Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army
(CPP/NPA). The US Mission Manila counterterrorism training
and assistance effort is a coordinated, multi-faceted,
interagency approach, spanning the spectrum from USAID’s
economic development programs to Joint US Military Assistance
Group (JUSMAG) training and exercises, Diplomatic Security
Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA), and Joint Special Operations
Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) civil-military operations
and operations-intelligence fusion assistance. Each one of
our programs has synergy with and builds upon the other,
e.g., JSOTF-P civil-military operations in Mindanao are
planned and occur in concert and close coordination with
pre-existing USAID activity


¶3. (SBU) In 2005, counterterrorism training and technical
support was conducted in the Philippines under the auspices
of several different USG agencies. Diplomatic Security,
through its ATA program offered training courses on a variety
of terrorism-related matters. JUSMAG offered
military-to-military training on counterterrorism and related
issues. LegAtt offered several FBI anti-terrorist training
opportunities, mostly focused on money-laundering. INL funds
were used to send Philippine law enforcement officials to
Bangkok for both counterterrorism training and broader law
enforcement training with counterterrorism implications.
Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-West (JIATF-West) offered
counternarcotics training that supported counterterrorism
efforts; some terrorist groups in the Philippines are thought
to be employing the drug trade for funding. A list of 2005
activities follows.

¶A. Diplomatic Security/ATA:

ATA 5071 Interdicting Terrorist Organizations Training Course
February 21-March 4, 2005

ATA 5086 Airport Security Management Course (in coordination
with the Transportation Safety Administration)
April 18-29, 2005

ATA 3008 Explosive Incident Countermeasures Training Course
May 9-June 17, 2005

ATA 5186 Cyber Terrorism Consultation
July 25-August 2, 2005

ATA 5236 Seminar on Prosecution of Cyber Terrorism
August 29-September 2, 2005

ATA 5381 A Police Executive’s Role in Combating Terrorism
November 28-December 9, 2005


Vector Balance Piston 05-2 (close-quarter battle and
marksmanship training)
February 13-March 27, 2005

Balance Piston 05-1 (small unit tactics and unconventional
warfare training)
April 11-29, 2005

Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT – naval
August 15-23, 2005

Balance Piston 05-5 (small unit tactics and unconventional
warfare training)
August 15-September 15, 2005

¶C. Legal Attache (FBI):
Counterterrorism Training for Law Enforcement Officers
May 28, 2005
Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering Course
August 1-5, 2005

Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Training
October 11-12, 2005

¶D. State/INL, via International Law Enforcement
Academy-Bangkok (ILEA-Bangkok):
Combating Transnational Terrorism
January 17-28, 2005

Post-Blast Investigations
June 6-17, 2005

Post-Blast Investigations
October 3-14, 2005

¶E. State/INL, via ILEA-Bangkok. The following courses are
not directly related to counterterrorism, but supported
general GRP law enforcement efforts which, in turn, supported
counterterrorism efforts:

Crime Scene Investigations
March 7-18, 2005

Complex Financial Crimes
March 21-April 5, 2005

Computer Crime Investigations
May 2-13, 2005

Personnel and Facility Security
September 19-30, 2005

Crime Scene Investigations
October 24-November 4, 2005


Baker Piston 05-1 (counternarcotics training)
January-February 2005

Fusion Piston 05-1 (maritime counternarcotics training)
July 2005

Baker Piston 05-2 (counternarcotics training)
July 2005

Fusion Piston 05-2 (maritime counternarcotics training)
November 2005


¶4. (SBU) In 2006, counterterrorism training and technical
support will again be conducted in the Philippines under the
auspices of several different USG agencies. Diplomatic
Security now has an ATA in-country program that will offer
training on a variety of terrorism-related issues to the
GRP’s interagency Anti-Terrorism Task Force. JUSMAG will
again offer military-to-military training on counterterrorism
and related issues. The Department of Justice will also
offer training this year. INL funds will continue to be used
to send Philippine law enforcement officials to Bangkok for
broader law enforcement training with counterterrorism
implications. JIATF-West will continue counternarcotics
training. A list of planned 2006 activities follows.

¶A. Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance:

ATA-5382 A Police Executive’s Role in Combating Terrorism
February 6-17, 2006

ATA-5603 Preventing, Interdicting and Investigating Acts of
February 6-April 7, 2006

ATA-5491 Combating Domestic and Transnational Terrorism,
March 27-31, 2006
ILEA Bangkok

ATA-5606 Interdicting Terrorist Activities
April 17-May 5, 2006

ATA-5607 Preventing, Interdicting and Investigating Acts of
June 5-August 4, 2006

ATA-5492 Combating Domestic and Transnational Terrorism
September 4-8, 2006

ATA-5608 Post Blast Investigation
September 11-29, 2006

ATA-5386 Combating Domestic and Transnational Terrorism
September 11-15, 2006

Balance Piston 06-2
January 16-February 10, 2006

Teak Piston 06-6
April 10-May 30, 2006

Balance Piston 06-3
May 15-June 23, 2006

Balance Piston
August 5-31, 2006

Vector Balance Piston 06-4
August 7-25, 2006

Teak Piston 07-4
October 12-November 24, 2006

Vector Balance Piston 07-2a
October 16-December 8, 2006

Vector Balance Piston 07-2b
November 27-December 8, 2006

¶C. Department of Justice/OPDAT

Development, Assistance and Training Seminar on Organized
February 15-17, 2006

¶D. State/INL, via ILEA-Bangkok. These courses are not
directly related to counterterrorism, but support general GRP
law enforcement efforts which, in turn, support
counterterrorism efforts:

Complex Financial Crimes
March 13-24, 2006

Computer Crime Investigations
May 1-12, 2006

Crime Scene Investigations
June 5-16, 2006

Personnel and Facility Security
September 18-29, 2006


Baker Piston 06-1
February 20-March 17, 2006

Fusion Piston 06-2
February 20-March 10, 2006

Baker Piston 06-2
May 8 to June 2, 2006

Fusion Piston 06-3
May 3 to June 12, 2006

Baker Piston 06-3
July 17 to August 11, 2006

Fusion Piston 07-1
October 27-November 18, 2006


¶5. (C) As Post looks ahead, there are several key
counterterrorism initiatives that will require greater
resources for success. These include:

¶A. Bolstering Law Enforcement. The June-July 2005 INL-led
Law Enforcement Assessment of the Philippine National Police
(PNP) identified numerous deficiencies, and the PNP
subsequently incorporated the assessment’s findings into its
multi-year Transformation Plan. We need to support this
effort by re-establishing a police advisor position at the
Embassy and by backing a series of targeted interventions,
including improving cooperation between police and
prosecutors, helping the PNP develop a counterterrorism
strategy, strengthening the PNP instructor cadre, and helping
the PNP develop a standardized operations manual. We look
forward to working with S/CT and INL on implementing these

¶B. Establishing a National Training Center. Philippine
Secretary of National Defense Avelino Cruz has asked for US

help to implement his ambitious plan to train two Philippine
Marine and 12 Philippine Army battalions each year. This
represents a strategic opportunity. Over six years, all of
the AFP’s 84 battalions will have gone through the training
cycle and be re-equipped with US equipment purchased mostly
through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. US active
duty trainers could help remold the entire AFP into a mirror
image force capable of defeating terrorist and internal
security threats, as well serving as a reliable coalition
partner. We need to support this initiative.

¶C. Helping with Recruit Training and NCO and Enlisted
Development. Secretary Cruz wants help as well in
restructuring recruit training and in developing
non-commissioned officers, two areas that also offer the
opportunity for a strategic intervention. Cruz was impressed
by the standardized nature of US training during his December
2005 visit to USMC Recruit Training Depot Parris Island and
the US School of Infantry at Ft. Benning. US uniformed
service support of these initiatives, in addition to support
for the national training center, would reinforce the
development of a combat-ready AFP capable of defeating the
terrorist threat.

¶D. Philippine Intelligence Reform (PIR). In asking for US
help in a top-to-bottom restructuring of the AFP’s
intelligence services, Secretary Cruz has recognized he needs
outside assistance. While this help can come in different
forms, we believe one quick fix would be to focus on tactical
intelligence, i.e., battlefield intelligence directly
applicable to AFP units in the field, primarily at the
company or battalion level. A series of mobile training
teams could, using a simple, tailored building block
approach, train a cadre of AFP officers and senior NCOs on US
methods. This bottom-up technique would support broader
reform, while also contributing directly to success against
JI and ASG terrorists.

¶E. Maritime Security. The Philippines’ porous maritime
border remains a critical vulnerability. The Cooperation
Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, Joint
Interagency Task Force-West’s maritime interdiction training
and its developing system of maritime intelligence fusion
centers, and JSTOF-P’s interaction with Tawi-Tawi-based Task
Force 62 and General Santos-based Task Force 72 are initial
steps to improve capability. We need to continue these
efforts, as well as to promote greater maritime security
cooperation among the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia,
especially in the areas of the Sulu and Celebes Seas. The
August 2005 PACOM-sponsored regional maritime
counterterrorism workshop and the September 2005 five-day
exercise between Philippine and Malaysian naval units
represent two constructive initiatives in this regard. We
should look for further training opportunities to promote
regional counterterrorism cooperation.

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