Armed Forces ready to protect Filipinos

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Even with limited resources, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is ready to protect the state and its people, its highest-ranked officer said on Monday.

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“We will continue with our mandate to protect our people and the state,” the AFP chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City (Metro Manila).

Iriberri had just visited the Palawan-based Western Command (Westcom) to observe its operations and the status of its troops there.

Westcom is in charge of military operations in the western side of the country that includes potential flashpoints in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

Iriberri clarified that his visit to Westcom has nothing to do with the sea dispute.

“It is a customary visit as the new [AFP] chief of staff. I just want to see the situation there and observe what our troops are doing there,” he said.

When asked about the “challenge” posed to soldiers by the sea row and the reported blocking of supply on Pagasa island, Iriberri reiterated that the AFP will continue with its job in protecting the people and the state.

“That is our job, to protect the people and the state,” he said.

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