Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:32
(BY: REX. G. MIRAVITE) Like in the 1970’s and 1980’s at the outbreak and at the height of MNLF rebellion, respectively, the AFP which comprises the Army, Air Force, Navy and the defunct Philippine Constabulary with the support of the Police, Civilian Volunteers and the Citizenry played with flying colors in protecting the territorial integrity of the country and in securing the populace which is its constitutional mandate.
After the initial negotiation in 1976 on the Tripoli Agreement failed due to the failure of Libyan President Moamar Khaddafy to come to Zamboanga City as promised for the signing of the Peace Negotiation the Defense Department publicly announced that the AFP was prepared to meet headon any armed group even if blood flows.
(Note: The Southcom Mansion was hurriedly and purposely constructed to house the Libyan President while in Zamboanga City. This writer was the ground operations officer of the operations division (U-3) of the newly created Southcom in 1976 under RADM Romulo Espaldon).
As a result massive military operations were conducted in central Mindanao, Western Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with 2/3 of the AFP maneuvering units were deployed in Mindanao composed of Army, Marines and PC Battalions with the support of the Navy and the air force and civilian volunteers.
The MNLF Forces were neutralized in 1980’s that resulted to Peace Negotiation with the GRP Panel under Ambassador Manuel T. Yan, a former Chief PC and former AFP Chief of Staff and the peace agreement with the MNLF was signed on 6 September 1996 in Zamboanga City.
The GRP Panel at that time negotiated for the peace settlement of Mindanao conflict on the basis of strength.
The present AFP is equally ready and prepared to perform its constitutional duty while supporting the GRP MILF Peace Process and the PNP will be playing a supportive role in protecting the Territorial integrity of the country in case of any eventuality.
(The author with a handful number of PC Soldiers and local Policemen repelled a numerically superior rebel forces without reinforcement but only with the support of civilian volunteers in the 3-day battle of Campo Uno in Lamitan, Basilan at the outbreak of rebellion from 31 December 1972 to 3 January 1973 as commanding officer of the 464th PC Company with the rank of 1st Lt.)
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