AFP performance vs NPA, MILF, Abu Sayaff 'satisfactory'

President Benigno Aquino III is satisfied with the performance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as regards the fight against “threat groups" despite no significant reduction in the enemies’ strength and firepower.

“It seems he is satisfied with the performance of the Armed Forces for the first six months of the IPSP [Internal Peace and Security Plan] Bayanihan," AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Oban told reporters after emerging from a military command conference with the President.

Oplan Bayanihan began at the start of the year under the Aquino administration, replacing the Arroyo administration’s Oplan Bantay Laya. Bayanihan is meant to be heavy on civil-military operations to win peace in enemy-infested areas.

“For the past six months in the implementation of the IPSP (Bayanihan), we can say that we are right on track of winning the peace," Oban said.

The threat groups that the AFP are training their sights on include the communist New People’s Army, the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation, and the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, among others.

“There has not been any remarkable decrease in so far as the strength and the firearms is concerned. What we have indicated as some development are the marked decrease in engagements in violent incidents," said Oban.

As of 2010, the NPAs numbered over 4,000 strong while the MILF had a strength of over 10,000 men. The Abu Sayyaf bandits known for high-profile kidnappings and bombings number over 300 men.

Oban said the President was also briefed by the military on its ongoing modernization program and with the ongoing reforms to addressing corruption in the military ranks. — MRT/VS, GMA News

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