Guerrero orders troops to finish off remaining threats

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 29, 2017, 3:35 pm

MANILA -- Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero ordered all troops to eradicate all threats to peace and security in the country.

In a statement Sunday, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said this move echoes President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to eliminate lawless elements following the liberation of Marawi City from the hands of the Maute group.

“Lt. Gen. Guerrero welcomes his new responsibilities with strong momentum from his leadership of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC), a similarly tall order given the area’s susceptibility from terror threats and insurgency,” Arevalo said.

Guerrero, who is concurrently EMC Commander, was tasked to dismantle New People’s Army (NPA) bands that are concentrated in the Davao Region, Caraga Region, and Northern Mindanao.

At the same time, he was also tasked to curb the spread of violence and terrorism in his area of responsibility, especially during the Marawi City siege.

“The priorities in the area of peace and security are clear: finish the remaining terrorist groups, neutralize the communist insurgency threat, and support law enforcement against lawless armed groups,” Guerrero said in his assumption speech during the AFP change of command ceremonies on Thursday.

He also vowed to continue reform programs in the military, improve its capability, and revisit war-fighting doctrines in light of new “battlefield environments.”

“We will aggressively implement our modernization program and fast-track the procurement of advance weapons systems that provide cost-effective and precise target engagement, long-range and high-endurance unmanned systems, and modern air and naval platforms,” he said.

The new AFP chief also seeks to “refine internal processes including improvements on services and transparency and accountability of transactions”.

“My gratitude knows no bounds, and I think that the best way to show our President and our countrymen is to serve our country with selfless dedication and to lead the AFP with purpose,” Guerrero added. (PNA)