The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identifies itself with the Filipino people’s historical struggles for freedom and justice and their vigilance against any attempt to violate the country’s integrity and sovereignty. In retrospect, it recognizes the role of our forefather as freedom fighters and honor them for their democratic and nationalistic aspiration.
The AFP, as the embodiment of the cherished martial values and traditions of the Filipino people, traces its roots to certain historical events; foremost of which is the Battle of Mactan on April 26, 1521, where Lapu-Lapu, the acknowledged father of the AFP, first signaled the love for freedom; Francisco Dagohoy Revolt in 1744; the Muslim Resistance and other similar uprisings against Spanish colonialism which contained our fight against foreign domination; founding of the Katipunan on July 7, 1892 by Andres Bonifacio, considered as the Father of the Philippine Army: The Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897 which proclaimed officially our desire for complete independence and gave birth to the Philippine Army. On June 12, 1898, the independence was declared at Kawit, Cavite by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and for the first time, the Philippine Flag was unfurled and our National Hymn was played. Later on, the Philippine Navy was created on June 22, 1898 by the revolutionary army. The Filipino-American hostilities between 1898-1899 further demonstrated the Filipino soldier’s best in terms of honor, valor, loyalty, duty, and solidarity despite the overwhelming superiority of the enemy forces.
To hasten the Philippine campaign and to established peace and order, an insular police force known as the Philippine Constabulary, was organized on August 8, 1901 followed by the establishment of the Philippine Military Academy on February 17, 1905. On December 21, 1935, the National Defense Act, otherwise known as Commonwealth Act No. 1, was enacted officially to create the AFP. The defense of Bataan and Corregidor from the outbreak of World War II, April 9, 1942 and May 6, 1942 respectively against the Japanese invasion forces, the active Philippine guerilla movement and the successful Anti-Huk campaign also best the exemplified the Filipino soldier’s heroism and love of country. The Phillipine Air Force was later established on July 1, 1947.