MANILA Despite the variety of security tasks it is instructed to do, newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal is confident that the military will be able to execute all of these efficiently.
"Considering the AFP's vision to be a 'World Class Armed Forces That is Source of National Pride' and the mission 'To Protect the People and Secure the Sovereignty of the State and the Integrity of the National Territory,' the task of leading the Armed Forces is overwhelming," Madrigal said during his assumption speech Tuesday at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
"However, I am confident that we can do all these, knowing that we have a very capable, better equipped, professional and solid Team AFP that is able to take on multifarious roles of civil-military cooperation, support law enforcement authorities in the fight against criminality and illegal drugs, defense of our territory, and the application of military force against terrorists and other armed groups, all at the same time," Madrigal stressed.
Earlier, the new AFP chief said efforts to neutralize the terror threat will continue.
"We'll also keep up the pace of diminishing the existence of terrorist cells and other armed peace spoilers so we can protect our people and insulate our community from their clout of fear," he added.
This is being done with ongoing violent extremism initiatives, with the support of concerned agencies and the Muslim communities.
Also, peace-inclined groups are now working in tandem with the government in the relentless pursuit of terrorism cells linked with the Dawlah Islamiya, Abu Sayyaf and remnants of the Maute Group.
These efforts greatly reduced threats posed by these groups, constricted their movement and and disrupted their terroristic plans.
"We cannot let another Marawi-like threat to happen again," Madrigal stressed.
The Marawi Siege started in May 23, 2017 and ended five months later.
Around 165 government troops were killed, along with scores of civilians. and an estimated 1,000 Maute Group terrorists and their allies were slain in the clashes, which also heavily-ravaged the city.
Madrigal replaced Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., his mistah at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, who retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
The newly-appointed AFP chief, the 51st, served notably as 4th Infantry Division commander, Southern Luzon Command and Eastern Mindanao Command chief.
His appointment as next AFP chief was approved last Dec. 5 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Madrigal is set to retire on September 28, 2019. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency