New AFP chief to sustain ops vs terror groups
Newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año vowed to continue going after terrorist groups upon his assumption as the country’s military head on Wednesday.
“With the guidance of our Commander in Chief, I shall lead the AFP in the sustainment of focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other local and foreign terrorist groups like the Maute group,” he said in his speech.
Año replaced Gen. Ricardo Visaya, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 56. President Rodrigo Duterte was the presiding officer and guest of honor at Camp Aguinaldo.
The administration of Duterte has shifted the focus of the military from territorial defense to internal security.
“We shall remain to be a lethal force capable of destroying any threat to our nation. We will not let our people cower in the face of lawlessness and terrorism,” Año said, adding that they would remain “unwavering and unfaltering” in pursuing lawless elements.
Military operations continue in Lanao del Sur after the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group occupied the town of Butig. Operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are also ongoing.
International defense engagements would also be enhanced to address security issues like cross-border threats of terrorism, and to maintain peace and stability in the region, the new AFP chief said.
The military will also continue to support the Philippine National Police’s antidrug campaign.
“Your AFP shall be relentless force ensuring that the Philippine flag is the only flag waving and flying across our land, air and seas,” Año said.
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