Security issues raised during PRRD’s meet with AFP, PNP

Several pressing security issues, including the fight against enemies of the state, were raised during the joint police and military command conference with President Rodrigo Duterte at MalacaAan Palace on Thursday night, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday.

During his meeting with top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), the President reiterated his appeal for them to do better, Lorenzana said in a text message.

What he (Duterte) normally wants in a command conference is to be briefed about the police and military operations against the enemies of the state: drugs, Terrorism, insurgency, criminality, said Lorenzana, who attended the joint AFP-PNP command conference.

He gives his guidance at the end, always exhorting everyone to do their jobs well, he added.

The joint command conference with top police and military officials came in the wake of the President's move to terminate the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US).

Lorenzana, however, said the planned revocation of the VFA was not discussed during the conference.

On January 29, Duterte said he was determined to scrap the VFA, which was signed by the Philippines and the US on Feb. 10, 1998, due to Washington's interference in Manila's domestic affairs.

A day after the President's pronouncement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the termination of VFA is a studied and tactical decision.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., however, warned Thursday that terminating the VFA would have a negative impact on the Philippines.

Duterte's meeting with high-ranking officials of the AFP and the PNP also came amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in the Philippines.

Lorenzana said there was no mention about concerns on the 2019-nCoV in the country.

The viral disease has already killed over 600 people and infected more than 30,000 others.

The joint command conference was also attended by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Local Government Secretary Eduardo AAo, Human Settlements Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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