Wiping out terrorism during AFP chief’s term ‘overly ambitious’
It is “overly ambitious” to decimate terrorism by April next year, or when the term of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero ends.
“For me to say that we will be able to finish the terrorist problem within my term considering that I will be serving only up to April will be overly ambitious. I’m just being practical,” Guerrero told reporters in a press briefing on Friday at Camp Aguinaldo.
The AFP chief, who assumed position last Oct. 26, was scheduled to retire by Dec. 17 as he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56. But President Rodrigo Duterte extended his term to April 24, next year for him to serve for a total of six months.
The AFP chief said that the organization operates based on a campaign plan: “We set targets and timelines and right now may targets kami as far as the neutralization of terrorist threat is concerned.”
“I’ll do my best to the most that I can give at the time that I am afforded as the chief of staff,” he said.
The AFP continues to face security challenges from local ISIS groups and the New People’s Army (NPA), but he said they will now shift their focus on fighting communist insurgency.
“I’m just continuing that part of the campaign plan sitting as the chief of staff. We are supposed to have started yung effort natin against the NPA nung last year but somehow this was affected by the conflict in Marawi and we need to focus on terrorism,” Guerrero said.
Early this month, the President Rodrigo Duterte signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as a terror organization, after he terminated talks with the latter amid continued attacks on government security forces. /jpv
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