Incoming AFP chief aims to make NPA irrelevant



Incoming military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista: Direct hand in Bayanihan. Photo from

MANILA, Philippines—Incoming military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Wednesday said he wants to render communist insurgents and their armed struggle “irrelevant” during his term as the head of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“That is our goal, for the NPA (New People’s Army) to be irrelevant, for the armed struggle to be irrelevant,” Bautista said when asked if communist insurgents would be weaker or inconsequential at the end of his term.

Bautista spearheaded the crafting of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan, the government’s national security strategy.

IPSP Bayanihan is a multi-sectoral approach in ending the decades-long insurgency problem in the country anchored on “winning the peace.”

President Aquino named Bautista as the successor of outgoing AFP chief of staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Jan. 20.

The change of command ceremony will be held at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday to be presided by President Aquino as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.

Bautista, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Dimalupig” Class of 1981, will serve as AFP chief of staff until he turns 56 years old on July 20, 2014.

Under his watch, Bautista said, the military would “hasten the tempo” of the implementation of IPSP Bayanihan.

“I am now in a position to influence the implementation of Bayanihan as chief of staff because I now become its operational commander. Unlike when I was the CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army), I had a limited role as the force provider. But now I will have a direct hand in the implementation of Bayanihan,” Bautista said.

But as of Wednesday, Bautista was already under fire from militant groups who claim that his IPSP Bayanihan was no different from the counter-insurgency campaign of the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called Oplan Bantay Laya.

Bautista’s appointment as AFP chief of staff “signals the escalation of human rights violations under the Aquino government,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

In a statement, Palabay said that there were 137 incidents of extrajudicial killings and 154 cases of frustrated extrajudicial killings as of late last year even “under the ‘people-centered’ and  ‘respect for human rights’ catchphrases” of the IPSP Bayanihan.

“Contrary to claims of the Aquino government and the AFP, Oplan Bayanihan is no different from Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya,” Palabay said.

Lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) called the IPSP Bayanihan a “notorious counter-insurgency program.”

“The appointment of General Bautista, who is reputedly the brains behind a notorious counter-insurgency program, fits in perfectly like a velvet glove in an iron fist. It jibes with the overall anti-people design that has resulted in continuing and disturbing human rights violations,” Olalia said in a separate statement.

Olalia also branded Bautista as one of the “hawks” in the Aquino administration and said that his appointment as military chief was not unexpected “despite unresolved accountability for extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and now even more vicious and orchestrated filing of fabricated and false charges against activists and dissenters.”

But Bautista said that he would ensure the Armed Forces’ adherence to the Security Sector Reform program of the government, the nexus of good governance, security, and development.

Military analyst Prof. Rommel Banlaoi had written that “the security sector transformation aims to implement effective governance of the security sector through democratic processes.”

Under the Security Sector Reform, adherence to justice and human rights are primary considerations for the Armed Forces as they carry out its task of protecting the people from internal and external threats.

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  • LeoSanMig

    It is already irrelevant, sir. 

  • opinyonlangpo

    That remains to be seen, every now and then they surface and make a killing. A suggestion, infiltrate the CHR they seem to have a good connection with the communist insurgents.

  • Rosauro

    These big mouthed people in the Left are afraid they will lose their livelihood if the NPA becomes irrelevant. They don’t have jobs but they feed their families spending people’s money which they collected as ‘revolutionary tax’.

    It’s a pity!

    • Flow Sotelo

      Nice one! Madami nang sinunog na mga cell sites sa amin yung mga NPAs. Ang hina tuloy ng signal ng cellphones.

    • kismaytami

      No different from government officials and employees who collect taxes and under the table ‘fees’ from citizens to line their pockets.

  • mon key

    there are military men who are doing their best to make the NPA relevant in many areas. the events that are unfolding in Compostella Valley and Davao Oriental is a showcase. relief and rehabilitation initiatives have been turned into opportunistic activities by select politicians, military men, police personnel and government employees. unless these greedy and self-serving persons are weeded out, and true honest to goodness relief and rehabilitation are carried out, the People will continue to support the revolution. it should be noted that these self-serving groups are the number one motivators of ordinary citizens to join the revolution.

    • MULEN

      As long as there are lazy people out there who are lured by the power of guns and the promise of easy money, armed groups are here to stay. They just differ on the names they call themselves but truth be told, revolutionaries they are not.

      • catmanjohn

        I disagree. I will state right off the bat that I am pro-West, but at the same time I am honest enough to understand that western values has trapping and ills that sometimes do not fit the economic priorities of certain developing nations. There has to be social equality. There are places in Mindanao where the towns have no electricity (brownouts), while the lumber mills, owned by corrupt leaders in Manila, consume the kilowatt output available, 24/7. One of the NPA officers I encountered was a ex teacher who lost hope in the Arroyo government and stated the facts of her corruption. It would make any decent man pick a gun to fight against such deviant, corrupt, and despicable behavior.

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv


  • CyberPinoy

    125,000-strong Armed Forces personel. Hindi ba parang konti yun especially now the population is 100 Million Filipinos with insurgents and external forces (cough.. China!)  lurking on our shores.  Pwede bang lakihan yan sabay upgrade ng military arsenal para mas effective. 

    • Flow Sotelo

       Yung AFP pala ay 0.125% lang ng total population ng Pilipinas!

  • rolandtr

    I have a better strategy to make the NPA irrelevant: make all Barangays powered..and all household powered..distribute tv sets..and these farmers will be watching teleserye every night. This is how Central Luzon made NPA irrelevant..the same with Southern Tagalog. Now Bicol is undergoing this change..Mindnao is also undergoing this change. Cultural changes in the farmers will make the NPA irrelevant.

    • MULEN

      Yup, many have joined the kotongeros out of boredom and of course they’re thrilled with the idea of  themselves carrying firearms like their movie idols.  

    • mon key

      so you believe there are no NPAs in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog because they are now watching TV? hahahaha. . . ang kitid pala nang pananaw mo!

      • rolandtr

        Your so naive…Central Luzon in the 60s was a frigthening wasteland because of the rebel influence in so many Barrangays..that is not true anymore…you are now in the covert places since you have lost your partisan will be the same in so many Barangays of Mindanao as soon as these areas will be powered and the farmers start entering the mainstream culture of Filipinos…

  • Simoun Magaalahas

    Ang mga General natin ngayon puro dada lang, salita lang ng salita wala namang kwenta…

    • m1600

      isa ka na sa walang kwenta.

      • Simoun Magaalahas

        ikaw may napatunayan kanaba sa testamento mo. 

      • Magsasaka

         pakawala ng mga pulis at militar yan para sa propaganda kaya nga pati yong masaker sa atimonan pilit nyang idinadamay ang mga walang kinalaman, bayaran kasi ang paktay gutom na yan hehehe

  • where_I_stand

    How many AFP chiefs promised us about disabling the NPA?
    How can he make the NPAs irrelevant without addressing the root cause of unequal distribution of wealth and massive poverty?
    How can he make the armed struggle irrelevant when the guns are now pens?
    How can he make the communists irrelevant when he salutes to them each time he visited Malacanang?
    Enough of your papogi…walk the talk. Start cleaning in places where they are most unlikely to be found.

  • kapayapaan_1900

    “I am now in a position to influence the implementation of Bayanihan as chief of staff because I now become its operational commander. Unlike when I was the CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army), I had a limited role as the force provider. But now I will have a direct hand in the implementation of Bayanihan,” Bautista said.

    May God bless you!  Be careful from the enemies within the AFP and their patrons who are remnants of MARTIAL LAW mentality.  Magsaysay was given a free hand by the corrupt Quirino administration in his fight against the insurgent HUKBALAHAP and he succeeded.  With majority of Filipinos longing for a corrupt-free AFP, this will be the most opportune time for cleansing the ranks and win the war against the insurgency.  I’m pretty sure you are a student of history.  You should learn more from the life of the late Pres Ramon Magsaysay.  Only a few in a generation are given the rare chance to do the right thing in a rare situation. Your family have done its share with the life of your father.  Don’t forgert the sacrifice he made!     

  • catmanjohn

    A great philosopher once said, “No army in the world can defeat an idea, which its time has come…”. Unless General Bautista can understand the meaning of that, he will be nothing more than a blundering fool with a gun and a few stars on his lapel. If the AFP truly wants to render the NPA irrelevant to nothing more than a band of thugs and losers, he must defeat the corruption and injustices that fuels their strength and purpose. If he escalates the violence and threat, including human rights, it will backfire into his face. He must first focus on cleaning up the corruption that exists within the AFP, like generals who sell guns to likes of the Ampatuans. Meanwhile if President Aquino creates a more balanced economic social policy where the corrupt thieving politicians like the Arroyos, Estradas, Enriles, and Marcos are brought to justice, and a healthy middle class emerges, that will be the real defeat of the NPA.

    • Eric

      What idea is that?

      • catmanjohn

        A government that serves the welfare of all People, and not just the greedy few. Lets hope President Aquino succeeds in his reforms, and slowly the NPA will become irrelevant, but not by military solutions as this article implies. 

  • pasaway008ako

    Sabi niya, NPA to be irrelevant. Ano kaya ang ibig niyang sabihin…na hindi gagalawin at hahabulin??? Mayroon na naman yatang chief na magpapalaki ng bayag sa kanyang puwesto o upuan!

  • Melvin

    Natatandaan ko noong panahon ni GMA ay ganyan-ganyan din ang sinabi ng AFP Chief na bago matapos daw ang terrmino ni GMA ay mauubos ang NPA, pero tulad ng dati naglipana pa rin sa kabundukan lalo na sa mga mahihirap na probinsiya ang mga NPA… IIsa lang ang alam kong panglaban sa NPA, iyan ay ang matulungan ang mga mahihirap na magsasaka na umangat ang kabuhayan…

    • m1600

      Tama ka jan ginagamit ng NPA ang mga magsasaka sa bulok na idelohiya ng komunista pero itong si SIMEON mukang pro hacindero sana ang pag sundaluhin nya yung mga pamangkin nya Ang mga NPA ngyon pera pera na lang KOTONG na din ang dilehensya.

      • Magsasaka

         at ikaw naman ginagamit ng mga militar at pulis para magkalat ng tsismis hehehe, magtrabaho ka ng matino

  • playamoth

    The NPA/NDF has always gone against the interest of the nation. What is important to them is their revolution. Never mind the wasted lives. Theirs and the people’s. It’s their way or no way. They were relevant during the time of Marcos; after that, irrelevant.

  • Eric

    Wala ng NPA. All that’s left is a bunch of thieves/ extortionists…….without a cause.
    Hmm….malaki rin siguro ang nakukuha ng mga kuto na to sa jueteng.

  • mon key

    what the new afp chief is saying . . . is a rehashed statement that has been said time and again every time a new afp chief is sworn in. don’t they have better script writers in the afp? for sure, after he retires on 21 July 2014, the incoming afp chief will say the same thing. hahaha! comedy from the afp!

  • salomeahmad

     Same thing was said when Gen. Esperon’s term was extended. Accordingly, so he can end insurgency in x months by statistics of encounter & body counts. This drew the question of what makes him think he can end insurgency w/ a timetable/frame when it has been around long before he was still a PMA cadet? ” To render the commie insurgency irrelevant”, hmmmm  maybe it means “giving in” to the rebs demands like the BangsaMoro in Mindanao. In that case, no matter how the gov’t spins the issue, its capitulation.

  • Tigsik

    Wow. All this talk of supposed revolutionary taxes in the comments section and none to actually show for. Alas, this country lives and breathes conjecture like air is to lungs.

    • MULEN

      This goes to show that you’re a complete idiot. The NPA has been collecting revolutionary taxes as a tax to be paid upon entering territories controlled by them being a belligerent force. 

      • Tigsik

        Well, that goes to show you’re an imbecile beyond medical salvation. “Has been collecting.” You were there, at every instance?

      • MULEN

        Complete moron like you that defies even an iota of logic is such a waste of time. You think that the credibility and veracity of  information and statements of facts needs that every speaker has to have a first hand knowledge of it?  For crying out loud, your ilk won’t believe that there’s such a planet Jupiter because you haven’t seen it yourself LOL. You must have been born with anencephaly.

      • Tigsik

        Well, that makes you twice the imbecile that you already are for even spending the time to respond. Go ahead, cry out loud all you want, but it still won’t make your pronouncement any less than conjecture. That’s the problem with this country. We take everything mass media feeds us hook, line, and sinker. 

  • CAYE

    If his statements were indeed sincere, he should start from the CHR…

  • arao_liwanag

    Baka maawa pa sayo ang NPA. Pero ang MUSLIM, BAKA DI KA PALUSUTIN AT BAKA MATULAD SA IYONG AMA. Kaya dahan dahan ka lang dahil alam naman ng lahat na ang mga sundalo ay kailangan lang ang sweldo upang mabuhay ang mga anak.

  • Peter

    Dapat ubusin na ang mga NPA na salot ng Bayan at isama na rin yung mga Gennerals na Corrupt. linisin nyo rin ang mga Anay sa Miltitary!!!

  • Danyel

    gumagapang pa lang ako e narinig ko na yan…..hanggang ngayon may NPA pa rin…..

  • Luka Munyita

    NPA is no longer capable of seizing power but still capable of terrorizing. To make these bandits irrelevant is to eradicate them.

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