Thursday, 22 December 2011 14:22
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa said on Wednesday that the military's new "Bayanihan" counter- insurgency strategy implemented last year has significantly decreased the violent incidents perpetrated by insurgent groups and "that peace and security are just within our reach now."
Dellosa informally informed President Benigno S. Aquino III about the success of the military's campaign plan during the AFP's 76th anniversary celebration in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
"Since the launching of our campaign plan 'Bayanihan' in 2010, violent incidents perpetrated by the insurgent groups CPP-NPA-NDF, the Muslim secessionist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group have significantly decreased," Dellosa said.
Incidentally, it was Dellosa who was the author of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan of the AFP, utilizing development as the main weapon in fighting the long-drawn insurgency in the country.
"This only means that what we have boldly undertaken and bravely embarked on last year is progressing well - clearly a sign that peace and security are just within our reach now," Dellosa said, adding that "with more effort from all stakeholders, we will succeed in winning the peace."
The communist insurgency started in 1968 and the government has its hands full fighting the New People's Army (NPA) rebels to date.
The government had succeeded in cutting down the number of NPA rebels -- from a high of 25,600 in 1986, it had gone down to 4,000 at the end of June 30, 2011.
But the number is still a force to reckon with as the NPA has been using landmines in attacking military forces in remote areas of the country.
The United Nations (UN) has barred the use of landmine because it causes havoc to innocent civilians.
The government has denounced the NPA for using landmines.
On the other hand, the MILF has also remained a threat to national security, although the ongoing peace negotiations are giving hope that peace will be achieved in Mindanao soon.
The military is also succeeding in the fight against terror, particularly the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan and Sulu.
In the all-out war on terror, the AFP has neutralized practically all Abu Sayyaf leaders over the years such as Abdulrajak Janjalani, the Abu Sayyaf founder; his younger brother Khadaffy Janjalani, Abu Sabaya and Commander Robot, to name a few.
Dellosa said that "for 76 years, the AFP has fully committed itself to be of service to the nation."
"But with the IPSP Bayanihan gaining headway and the AFP working hand in hand with the Filippino people, we are more confident to say that we are ready to face another year moving closer towards our goal of achieving a just and lasting peace in our country."
"We hope that the support of the people for all endeavors of the military organization will continue to prosper as we fulfill our vision of a professional, capable and responsive AFP," he added.
Dellosa vowed that development projects such as schools, roads, health centers, and water systems will be intensified in various parts of the country to benefit the people.
He also said the AFP will continue its effort to winning the peace through partnership with stakeholders.
But most of all, Dellosa thanked God for His continued blessings to the AFP all these years.
By Ben Cal
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