Military assesses ‘Bayanihan’ effects
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines’ highest military officials gathered at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday for the third-quarter command conference to assess the country’s security campaigns.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang presided over the conference that was attended by the commanders of the major services, unified commands, AFP-wide service support units and other major ground units of the Army, Air Force and Navy.
The ground commanders briefed Catapang on the internal peace and security plan they called IPSP Bayanihan, which has been fine-tuned to focus military operations on armed threat groups.
“IPSP Bayanihan has not only remained on track but has brought significant gains the past year, particularly in addressing the communist insurgency,” said an AFP statement released after the conference.
“Through successful internal peace and security operations, more (communist) New People’s Army rebels are now surrendering to the government fold and their influence and mass base support continue to wane,” it said.
Only two complaints of human rights violations against soldiers have been brought out since the start of the year, the statement said.
Catapang pushed for the enactment of a “peace dividends” law that would allow the AFP to ask the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for land on which its people could plant high-yield crops like coffee, cocoa and bamboo. Cynthia D. Balana
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