The country is now on the brink of victory against long-time security threats, the new chief of the Philippine Army (PA) said on Tuesday.
“The PA is the prime force provider in the campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to address insurgency and terrorism. Today as we simultaneously wage war in different fronts working within a whole of-nation framework, the Army, all stakeholders, our country is on the brink of victory against the communist insurgency, secessionism, and terrorism,” Maj. Gen. Andres Centino said in his speech during the assumption-of-command ceremony at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Centino said this victory will come soon as the AFP is led by a Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, whose “unflinching resolve” fuels their determination to finally put an end to the conflict that has plagued the country for years.
“With all the instrumentalities and agencies of government focused now on doing their respective mandate channeling all efforts towards the united front through the President’s issuance of Executive Order 70 and the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), we have been able to focus and execute our core functions as your Philippine military to ensure victory over the enemy,” he added.
Centino cited the effects of these initiatives in Northern Mindanao and the Caraga Region where government troops made significant gains in defeating communist terrorists.
“Interagency cooperation and collaboration have enabled our Army units in the field to engage the enemy decisively, resulting in dismantled guerilla fronts, reduction in the enemy strength, and the liberation of communities from the clutches of the communist terrorist group,” he added.
Centino also said the quick response of troops to the May 8 incident in Maguindanao prevented rogue elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from disrupting peace in the region.
He also assured that the PA’s modernization will remain a priority.
“We will sustain our endeavor to modernize. Acquisition of new equipment and technology shall be prioritized,” he added.
“This (will) provide our soldiers (with) the advantage in the fights that lie ahead. These priority areas will serve as (a) framework to build (and modernize) our Army anchored on the guidelines of the Army Transformation Roadmap,” he added. SOVEREIGNPH