Brawner tells troops to shun politics, orders pursuit of IS gunmen

Brawner tells troops to shun political noise, orders pursuit of IS gunmen

/ 10:53 AM February 21, 2024

PHOTO: Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. STORY: Brawner tells troops to shun political noise, orders pursuit of IS gunmen

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.(INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

KUTA SANG-AN, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. told soldiers to “be united” and remain professional amid political rumblings as he ordered a relentless pursuit of Islamic State-linked militants.

“Let us not be affected by the political bickerings, let us focus on our jobs,” Brawner said Tuesday during a “Talk to Troops” at the gymnasium of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division (1ID) in this town.


Brawner visited the wake and condoled with the families of six soldiers slain on Sunday in a clash with Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group members in Munai, Lanao del Norte.


The recent battlefield setback happened amid successful pursuit operations launched by the Army against alleged perpetrators of the bombing in a gym of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City last December.

READ: 6 soldiers killed in clash with terrorists in Lanao

Brawner lauded the 1ID for neutralizing six of eight suspects of the MSU attack. The remaining two, he added, were the subject of the operation last Sunday.

Amid “the sad event that happened,” Brawner ordered “a relentless pursuit” against the remaining IS terrorists in the Lanao provinces. Hence the concomitant call to “focus on our jobs” and not be distracted by the political noise.

“We do not take sides in the conflicts that are happening. We only have one side, and that is, on the side of the constitution and the duly constituted authorities,” Brawner emphasized.

Brawner first made such an admonition in November last year as he spoke before a command handover ceremony at the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.


READ: No destabilization plot vs Marcos admin — AFP

Following calls by former president Duterte for Mindanao to secede from the country, Brawner went around major AFP commands telling soldiers to uphold their professional duties.

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On Tuesday, he again reminded soldiers: “We only have one Philippines, we only have one country. We cannot allow our country to be dismembered into two or three parts,” he added in a mix of Filipino and English.

TAGS: Armed Forces of the Philippines, IS-linked terrorists, Islamic State, Romeo Brawner Jr.

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