CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), General Emmanuel T. Bautista delivered his command guidance, Monday during the Command Conference held at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club, here.
“All our efforts are due to our collective will as an Armed Forces. Let unity be our source of strength. Our unity of purpose and cohesiveness and strength of the chain of command is our only assurance that we will be able to face any challenge as an armed forces,” General Bautista said.
High-ranking officers from the AFP Joint Staff also reported to General Bautista assessments on the military’s internal security operations, updates on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, AFP Transformation Roadmap and Capability Upgrade Program, and review of the AFP thrust and guidelines.
Internal Security Operations
The number of high value individuals that the AFP has captured and convinced to surrender continues to increase as the AFP push for its peace and development programs aimed at addressing the root causes of insurgency.
For the first semester of 2014 alone, the AFP neutralized 431 CPP-NPA-NDF personalities, most of which voluntarily surrendered to the AFP. This number is more than half of last year’s 701. It also cleared 101 NPA-influenced barangays which is significantly higher than last year’s 87; and recovered 310 firearms as compared to 334 last year.
More provinces are also undergoing normalization process as 16 were set for normalization in 2013 and three more in the first quarter of 2014. Currently, 45 provinces are undergoing normalization process.
Significant Developments in Territorial Defense, HADR, and Reforms
The AFP continues to gain significant developments in its capability upgrade program aimed at achieving minimum credible defense posture in the next few years in line with the AFP Modernization Program.
For HADR, because of its effectiveness in crisis situations, the AFP has been designated as the lead agency in the Search, Rescue, and Retrieval cluster of the Disaster Response Thematic area.
HADR is now a major role for the AFP due to the impact of climate change and global warming. As it prepare for the coming typhoon season, the AFP will push for the continuous enhancement of its HADR capability, and improvements of its operational readiness.
The AFP has also taken significant gains towards reaching its goal through the AFP Transformation Roadmap which had driven the AFP to become a more modern and professional armed forces. -PAO,AFP with Jessica Gracilla