Gov't forces forge common protocol in fight vs. terrorism, crimes

By Rhoda Grace Saron

October 25, 2018, 8:11 pm

DAVAO CITY--The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Eastern Mindanao have signed an agreement to enhance efforts in the government’s fight against terrorism, anti-criminality, insurgency, and anti-illegal drugs.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the AFP and the PNP was signed on the sidelines of the joint command conference of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) and the Directorate for Integrated Police Operation, Eastern Mindanao (DIPO-EM) of the PNP at Grand Men Seng Hotel on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Eastmincom commander, said the agreement on joint efforts is better than coming up with respective campaign plans and command guidance.

Madrigal said the AFP and the PNP decided to have one common campaign plan so that the strength of guidance of Eastern Mindanao AFP units will be in sync with PNP units.

“Hindi yung katulad dati na (It will not be the same) coordination, but rather what I will say will also be said by the police. That is why we can integrate our actions plus eventually, aside from the directive just like the joint command conference now, we will have joint assessment, joint command guidance, and eventually joint campaign planning,” he added.

Madrigal, however, assured that there will be no overlapping of functions but it will be supplementing gaps for better operation against terrorism, criminality, illegal drugs and anti-insurgency.

On the boundary problem, Madrigal said, the police directors, the division and brigade commanders will work together on the shifting of forces in case of pursuing criminals and armed groups.

Chief Supt. Daniel Macatlang, the director of DIPO-Eastern Mindanao, said the MOA is evidence of the PNP and AFP's unified effort against criminality and terrorism.

"If we want the AFP to do something we can give instruction to the AFP. So it is applicable in both parties,” Macatlang said.

“The filing of cases, gathering of evidence, service of warrants is the main function of the PNP but we need the support of the AFP in the gathering of statements and facts. For example, NPA members captured by the AFP,” he added. (Rhoda Grace Saron/PNA)