From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 11): Deployment of troops in communities to continue under DSSP 'Kapayapaan'
Deployment of military units in communities, especially those which has requested for a protective presence, will continue under Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) "Kapayapaan".
This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in response to the question on whether the new strategy will allow for troop withdrawals.
"We don't see any problems with our troops deployed in communities, their presence their was requested by the people to be there (to secure them) and help the local government and empower our people, so their presence their is meant to serve the people. Military presence should not be an issue as it is requested by the people," he said in Filipino.
Militant groups have been demanding for pullout of troops due to alleged human rights abuses and militarization complaints.
AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año chief stressed that missions under DSSP "Kapayapaan" are purely to sustain the peace, ensure security and maintain public order.
He added that four strategic concepts of the latter are the following:
-Sustained military operation to defeat the foreign and local terrorist organizations
-Contribute to the promotion of peace
-Active support to law enforcement in war against drugs
-Contribute to nation building.
"The leftists have nothing to worry about. In fact we expect them to cooperate with us so that we can work out the attainment of a permanent and lasting peace," Año said.
The AFP chief said that while DSSP "Kapayapaan" is focused on the primacy of the peace process, terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Maute Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines and other lawless groups will feel the full brunt of the military's combat power.
"While we are addressing the ASG (threat and other lawless elements), we apply the full forceof the AFP, in fact in the Western Mindanao Command area where the ASG and other terror groups (are known to be operating), 51 battalions are already deployed to (conduct focused military operations against them," he added.
Año said this is the biggest ever troop deployment for the AFP as they are making sure that the campaign against the ASG and other lawless and terror groups will be significantly defeated and their capabilities to wreck havoc or terror reduced to the very minimal.
He added efforts to combat these threats will be evaluated this coming June to determine whether the strategies being implemented against them are taking effect.
When asked what initiatives the AFP are taking against these lawless and terror groups, Año said the military has intensified our intelligence operations and engagements with the local communities so local residents will report to authorities presence of suspicious-looking individuals in their respective areas.