From the Manila Times (Jan 7): AFP aims to ‘win’ peace in 2016
THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is poised to intensify operations against all threat groups, particularly the communist New People’s Army (NPA), even as it seeks to “win” peace this year.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said in the remaining days of the Aquino Administration, one of the goals of the military is full implementation of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or Oplan (Operation Plan) Bayanihan, which is strongly opposed by leftist organizations describing it a “grand psywar scheme and continuing violence against the people.”
“Yung ating IPSP Bayanihan kailangang ipagpatuloy natin upang sa ganun ay ma-accomplish natin yung mission nating talunin na yung mga threats sa security ng gobyerno [We need to continue our IPSP Bayanihan so that we can accomplish our mission to defeat the threats to the security of the government],” Gazmin told reporters after the traditional New Year’s call at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City (Metro Manila).
Gen. Hernando Iriberri, AFP chief of staff, said the main mission of the operation plan is to win peace.
“So I just wanted to emphasize that by 2016 because based on the timeline of IPSP Bayanihan, we must win the peace, that’s the timeline of IPSP Bayanihan by the end of 2016, we must be able to declare the entire country as peaceful,” he added.
The AFP, Iriberri said, is trying its best to accomplish the mission.
The AFP chief disclosed that a command conference was scheduled from Friday to assess and evaluate the military’s performance and find out if there is a need to make adjustments.
“If we need to make some adjustments, we will make adjustments. But we will try our best and that will be my challenge to all our ground commanders, to attain our goals and it has been there since 2010 when, as I said, when IPSP Bayanihan was crafted, it was a self-imposed goal with the Armed Forces and it is incumbent upon us to give our best, to do our best to attain that goal, and that is our challenge,” he said.