AFP chief: Ending communist threat still top priority
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ most urgent task under returning chief Gen. Andres Centino is “to defeat threat groups,” which include communist rebels and terrorists.
Centino laid out his five directives during the joint command conference of the AFP and the Department of National Defense on Thursday, Col. Medel Aguilar, spokesperson for the AFP, said in a radio interview on Sunday.
The military’s campaign plan against insurgents has been gaining ground, he said, with guerrilla fronts down to five and around 2,000 active members of the New People’s Army.
“While we have major success stories in our counterinsurgency [campaign] … our task is not over yet,” he said.
Centino’s other directives were optimizing resources to support the operational requirements for the troops, advancement of professionalism and meritocracy, continued support for modernization and proactive deployment of military assets for disaster response, Aguilar said.
Centino returned as AFP chief last week, five months after he was replaced by Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988.
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