TOP military and defense officials on Friday discussed the “Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan,” a new military strategy that aims to defeat enemies of the state and address threats to national security.
In a high-level command conference at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said the military’s top priority would be the destruction of terrorist groups like the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Maute Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other foreign and local terrorist groups.
The new six-year security plan replaces the Internal Peace and Security Plan IPSP “Bayanihan” that was implemented in January 2010 and expired on December 31, 2016.
Put into operation by the previous Aquino administration, IPSP Bayanihan has been the subject of criticism by leftist groups seeking a peace deal with the government.
The new military strategy, presented to military top brass, defense officials led by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and key national security officials, will serve as the “blueprint” of how the AFP will conduct its campaigns, said Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.
The plan was crafted by a technical working group from the AFP in consultation with various government agencies.
Top military field commanders, major service commanders, Wide Support and Separate Unit commanders, and key staff of the AFP were in attendance at the security meeting presided by Lorenzana.
Arevalo said that during the meeting, the AFP chief “was clear, concise, and direct in his pronouncement that the top priority of the AFP under his leadership shall be the destruction of the terrorist groups.”
To achieve this, Año disclosed that besides the conduct of focused combat operations employing the resources of the AFP, “I desire that we enhance stakeholder engagement to ensure robust participation of the religious sector and local government.”
“From our end, I want everyone here to exercise the highest degree of commandership. After all, the most important element of combat power is leadership. Do and give your best and together we will create a winning team and get the job done,” Año pointed out.
The AFP chief also vowed to give priority to frontline units in the assignment of the best officers, enlisted soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.
“And as such, we must take care of them. While we endeavour to give them the fighting edge, it is as essential that we increase their survivability rate,” he emphasized.
At the same time, the AFP out must look out for the welfare of its personnel and their loved ones, especially those who were combat casualties, by expediting the processing of the benefits due them; streamlining the process and rationalizing the requirements for promotion, schooling, and awards; as well was the disposition of cases, Año said.