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Military cites ‘significant gains’ in anti-insurgency drive at AFP meeting

/ 06:22 PM October 23, 2014
AFP Chief General Gregorio Catapang leads the Command Conference for the 3rd Quarter of 2014 to discuss the national security situation and assessments of its ongoing operations in the country. /PHOTO FROM AFP PAO

AFP Chief General Gregorio Catapang leads the Command Conference for the 3rd Quarter of 2014 to discuss the national security situation and assessments of its ongoing operations in the country.  PHOTO FROM AFP PAO

MANILA, Philippines—Top military commanders gathered at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday to assess national security situation and the military’s ongoing campaigns, among others.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. presided over the conference, AFP spokesman Major General Domingo Tutaan Jr. said in a statement.

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Catapang reminded at the 3rd Quarter Command Conference, for the commanders to prepare for the Papal visit in January and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings next year.

The military officers discussed the Internal Peace Security Plan Bayanihan, the campaign strategy against insurgents and other internal threats.

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Tutaan claimed that the IPSP campaign “remained on track but has brought significant gains” in the previous year in addressing communist insurgency.

But current estimates of communist insurgents remained at about 4,000 this year.

The military chief also voiced out his support for the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, as well as the crafting and implementation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

He also tackled humanitarian assistance and disaster response, Tutaan said.

Catapang was also assured by ground commanders on the security and safety of the local communities including business establishments, investment climate for economic development and other opportunities for progress and prosperity, Tutaan said.

Only recently, the Abu Sayyaf freed two of its German captives in Sulu after claiming to have received P250 million. The military is pursuing the bandits, who are still holding over a dozen of foreign and local hostages.

Prior the release of the Germans, the military deployed about 3,000 troops in Sulu ahead of the Oct. 17 deadline by the Abu Sayyaf.

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