Practice Relating to Rule 4. Definition of Armed Forces
Section A. General definition
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) notes in its glossary: “Armed Forces under the Law of War
– The armed forces of a State which is a party to the conflict consist of all organized units and personnel which are under the command responsible for the behavior of its subordinates.”
The Philippines’ Executive Order No. 292 (1987) states:
The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] shall consist of the General Headquarters; the Major Services namely: the Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Navy and, until otherwise provided by law, the Philippine Constabulary; and other existing units, services and commands of the AFP. The Secretary of National Defense may, in accordance with the policies or directives of the President, create additional units, services and commands, or reorganize the AFP in response to any situation or in pursuance of operational or contingency plans. No Major Service may be unfilled, inactivated or merged with another Major Service, without the approval of the Congress.
Whenever dictated by military necessity, and upon the recommendation of the Secretary of National Defense and approved by the President, the Citizen Armed Force may be called or mobilized to complement the operations of the regular force of the AFP or to support the regular force formations or units. For this purpose, Active Auxiliary Units which shall be part of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units, may be utilized, to be constituted out of volunteers to be screened in consultations with the local executives and civic business leaders. The status of Active Auxiliary Units shall be of a degree of activation of military reservists short of full active duty status. They shall not be vested with law-enforcement or police functions.
All members of the Citizen Armed Force on training or service shall be subject to military law and the Articles of War.