AFP, PNP chiefs hold ‘eyeball’ meet
The military and police chiefs had an “eyeball” on Tuesday.
Director General Raul Bacalzo of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban met at the PNP headquarters in Quezon City.
The two discussed peacekeeping and security matters in the wake of tensions in the Spratly islands and reports of possible terrorist threats.
“We are on an eyeball-to-eyeball basis,” Bacalzo said of his first meeting with Oban at Camp Crame since Oban took over the top AFP post.
The officials said the visit reinforced the strong collaboration and information sharing between the PNP and the AFP, particularly on pressing security concerns.
“We are security forces. We always hold hands, and we talk often,” Bacalzo said.
He cited the PNP Maritime Group’s coastal patrols in support of the AFP’s efforts, through the Philippine Navy, of guarding territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea, particularly near the Spratly chain.
On the other hand, Oban said the AFP coordinates with the PNP in intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing, particularly on the activities of terror groups, such as the Abu Sayyaf group in Mindanao.
“Actually we have fusion in terms of intelligence, and this will reinforce subsequent actions. So while this is my first official visit here as chief of staff, (we) have been seeing each other very, very frequently, particularly to discuss the challenges we face in security,” Oban said.
On recent reports of terrorist threats in the Philippines, Bacalzo said: “We continue to be vigilant and in fact … we have an agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, regarding the joint peace and security agreement where we discuss all security issues together.”
The officials described Oban’s call as a traditional exchange of visits between the military and police chiefs.
Bacalzo said he visited Camp Aguinaldo, the AFP headquarters, when he first assumed command of the 138,000-strong PNP.
Oban is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1979, while Bacalzo belongs to the Class of 1977.
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