Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay has ordered all his commanders to totally dismantle all remaining New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla fronts as the communist terrorists have been seriously weakened by government offensives.
“All remaining communist guerrilla fronts shall be simultaneously addressed and defeated toward the end of 2021. I noticed a lot of these NPA units have been weakened so this is our target for all the (AFP) unified commands,” he said in a statement late Saturday.
Gapay also ordered all area commanders to set priority targets per quarter along with their task to expedite the clearing of identified focus areas to hasten the dismantling of remaining guerrilla fronts.
A total of 54 so-called guerrilla fronts remains with nine other regional armed groups which were already decimated and on the brink of collapse. This came after the successful dismantling of 22 communist fighting and propaganda units.
“Focused military operations shall be intensified in order to destroy the armed groups, taking advantage of our newly acquired game-changer assets,” Gapay said.
In line with this, AFP units were tasked to develop innovative employment of joint operations supported by enhanced and modernized intelligence gathering.
To neutralize local terrorist groups, Gapay directed AFP units to further intensify focused military operations along with the conduct of “preventing and countering violent extremism” programs to avoid the radicalization and recruitment of vulnerable sectors and communities.
“We have significantly decimated these groups such that we could target to catch up on our goals toward the end of the first semester of this year,” Gapay said.
In territorial defense, Gapay said the Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity remains secured and the country’s strategic resources and critical infrastructures are protected.
“But we need to adjust to effectively address the growing challenges in the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea (WPS),” he added.
Gapay ordered both field units and AFP General Headquarters to review lines of operations, lines of efforts, and key tasks to ensure the military remains effective in responding to prevailing situations.”Continue to find innovative ways in asserting our sovereignty over our territorial claims and exercising our sovereign rights in the WPS,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH