AFP aims to “significantly defeat” terrorist groups in six months
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is targeting to finish the terrorist groups in country within the next six months.
“Yes that is our target, in fact what the Chief of Staff gave, Gen. Ano, is the next six months. Let see if we can do it within six month, if not we will extend the six months until end of the year,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Monday.
“For the record, our goal is to defeat the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute (Brothers Group),” he added.
Ano said the military is aiming to “significantly defeat” the terrorist group within six month before the AFP conduct assessments in June.
“It means we have rendered them, their capabilities very minimal,” he said.
Ano said a total of 51 battalions are in the area of Western Mindanao Command that covers provinces with most number of terrorist groups in southern Philippines.
“Not in our history there has been that massive deployment of our troops but we are going to make sure that our campaign against the ASG will end soon,” he said
Twenty-seven persons are being held by the Abu Sayyaf. “ We will prevent them (Abu Sayyaf) from kidnapping more and we will try to recover those who are in their possession because 27 kidnap victims are still on their possession,” Lorenzana added.
Ano said the military have intensified its intelligence operations as part of their effort against the terrorist group.
“We have intensified our intelligence operations. Last week actually i dedicated a special conference for our intelligence community, secondly we will make a program were we will encourage the community to help us,” he said.
“Also in coordination with the anti-terrorism council and other intelligence units of different branch of government, so that is what we will do we will have closer cooperation for doing so,” he added.
Lorenzana mentioned about a plan to have changes in the military organization.
“We will have changes in the organization. We will put new personnel so we can have fresh approach in eliminating the lawless elements,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS