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Interested in National Security

(Class of 2020, Government) Permanent link   All Posts
Eric Noble

Over the summer, I got to meet and spend time with the Philippines National Security Advisor (NSA), General Hermogenes Esperon. He visited Washington D.C. and San Francisco. In D.C., he met with his counterparts in the national security sector. In San Francisco he was assisted by my father, who is the Police Attaché of the Philippine Consulate General of the West Coast. Since I was spending the summer with my parents in San Francisco, I was able to tag along with my dad and spent some time with the NSA. We took him to the golf course and went to some scenic spots in the Bay Area.

General Esperon was former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and is highly regarded for his accomplishments in the security sector. Thus, I was so touched when he spoke to me with such humility, kindness and humor. When my mom requested a photo with him, he gladly accepted. He even congratulated me for getting accepted at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. That meant a lot to me and my parents, especially my dad. Both of them went to the Philippine Military Academy, so they share a special bond.

As the national security advisor, General Esperon leads the National Security Council (NSC). He is the head of Philippine president's principal forum for reviewing and developing new national security and foreign policies. I felt proud that he discussed some policies with me that he is working on, particularly countering internal security threats. It confirmed my desire to work for the NSA someday. It also inspired me to work harder on my major, International Relations.

The history of the council starts with the Commonwealth Act No. 1. This is the original policy basis of the national security program of the Republic of the Philippines. That act mandated the establishment of a Council of National Defense to advise the president on all matters of national defense policy, with membership consisting of the president, all living former presidents, the Vice President, the head of each executive department, the Chief of Staff, and six other members to be designated by the President.