Sunday, April 19, 2020

AFP confirms leaked document on possible deployment amidst ECQ protocol breach

From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 19, 2020): AFP confirms leaked document on possible deployment amidst ECQ protocol breach (By Melinda T. Quinones)

Military SF-260FH aircraft transported PPEs from Zamboanga to Pagadian. They also transported 568 Newborn Screening Testing Kits from Zamboanga to Davao. (Photo from Philippine Air Force Facebook Page)

QUEZON CITY, April 19 (PIA) – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, confirmed today that the leaked Philippine Air Force (PAF) document is legitimate.

“The Commander-in-chief President Duterte has mentioned in his televised address to the nation about the possibility of deployment, that is, if the observed deterioration in discipline and order will continue and the people will not heed the pleas of government,” BGen. Arevalo said in an interview.

With the alarming number of ECQ violators in Luzon that could jeopardize the efforts of the government to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic, the AFP was initially instructed by President Duterte to prepare for deployment together with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"The context is: Sinabi na ni Presidente na mag-prepare ang AFP for deployment with the PNP in case people will continue to defy the protocols and disobey the rules... Sa ngayon wala pa na namang utos ang Pangulo na mag-deploy na. But it is incumbent and customary on the part of leadership of PAF, and AFP under General Felimon Santos Jr, for that matter, to exercise its initiative of alerting and preparing our personnel including ROE," he explained.

Part of the PAF directive is for subordinate units to initiate request from PNP to orient and train PAF personnel on the Rules of Engagement (ROE) and the legal procedure since manning the streets for traffic enforcement and crowd control is not an expertise of the Philippine Air Force.

“We believe there is nothing to be alarmed about in this natural reaction of the AFP to prepare and deploy when it becomes necessary… what we should all be alarmed about instead is the fact that a lot of people are blatantly violating the law and disobeying the rules and health protocols,which must be strictly enforced, otherwise people die [of COVID-19],” BGen. Arevalo added.

The PAF is maintaining its high level of readiness to perform whatever task it would be given as the government continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PAF’s medical health care personnel are also being prepared to augment patient care facilities that are being setup. In fact, subordinate units of the PAF have constructed isolation health care facilities in various parts of the country such as Batangas, Quezon City, Bulacan, and Pasay City.

The PAF is also actively involved in picking up of personal protective equipment (PPEs), screening kits, and other medical supplies ordered from overseas using militaryaircrafts.

Local chief executives are also tapping them to distribute assorted relief goods and enforcement of ECQ.

“The AFP took cognizance of the order and already prepares for it even before the order to deploy is given. That, we suppose, makes the AFP unique and dependable as an institution because of initiative and foresight. We take orders and know which are specific tasks and which are implied,” BGen. Arevalo said while ensuring the public that there is no reason to be alarmed. (MTQ/PIA-IDPD)

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