Centino cites AFP’s achievements vs. domestic armed groups

New AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Andres Centino (File photo)

MANILA – Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Andres Centino lauded the military for their recent achievements against domestic armed groups as he conducted his first command conference Saturday.

“I extend my congratulations to all of you for what we have accomplished for the past months. We are doing well in our campaign. I have seen significant improvement in our organization as we continue to pursue excellence and professionalism within our ranks. We just have to sustain our successes,” he said in a statement Sunday.

Centino's meeting with ranking AFP commanders and principal staff officers took place at the Commissioned Officers’ Country at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

He also lauded the field commanders for the series of battle victories and successful efforts against the domestic armed groups particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Terrorists (CNTs) and other local terrorist groups (LTGs).

Centino highlighted the most recent military operations that resulted in the death of Daulah Islamiyah-Hassan Group (DIHG) leader Salahuddin Hassan on Oct. 29 and the NPA’s National Operational Command leader Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos on Oct. 30.

During the meeting, Centino reminded military leaders about President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to end all local armed conflicts within his term.

He said Executive Order (EO) 70, which mandates a multi-dimensional, whole-of-nation approach to address the local communist insurgency, has helped the military focus on its core function of protecting the people from the terrorists.

With EO 70, the local government units (LGUs) and other agencies of the government had taken over the non-military socio-economic aspects of counter-insurgency efforts, which the military had also been undertaking under previous administrations.

“The enemies of the state are losing support, as we have brought back the trust and confidence of the people to the government. EO 70 primed us and the entire government system to finish this social ill once and for all. Within the remaining seven months of our peace and security campaign, we have to further increase our tempo to make sure that we will accomplish the task given by the President,” he said.

During the conference, Centino mentioned four priority thrusts; Operational Efficiency, Optimal Use of Resources, Advancing Professionalism, and Meritocracy and Capability Development.

On operational efficiency, he emphasized tri-service interoperability to achieve the desired operational tempo.

He also gave importance to resource optimization to accomplish more despite the limited resources as the AFP institutes measures to protect and preserve the force amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Centino also said it is imperative to advance professionalism and meritocracy to sustain the people’s satisfaction and high trust on the AFP.

Meanwhile, capability development is necessary as the AFP prepares to face the ever- evolving security challenges, both in internal and external domains.

Among the other topics discussed during the command conference was the critical role of the AFP in the upcoming elections wherein the AFP, along with the Philippine National Police, is being tapped by the Commission on Elections in enforcing law and order.

He said every soldier should remain non-partisan in the performance of duty of ensuring the desire of the Filipinos for a fair, orderly, and peaceful election process, will prevail.

Centino also directed a thorough review of existing policies that may have been rendered obsolete by the passage of time.

It can be recalled that former AFP chief Gen Jose Faustino Jr. provided him a compilation of existing AFP policies he deemed to be in need of amendments or revisions.

He directed the military commanders and his staff to impose discipline by going back to the basics of soldiery.

“The way we present ourselves to the people will speak for the whole organization,” he said. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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