Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Philippine Military to start second phase of IPSP ‘Bayanihan’
The second phase of the military’s internal peace and security plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” will start this year with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressing optimism that the target end of armed struggle will be met by 2016.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said that the 120,000-strong military will start its gradual transition to territorial defense and other mandated tasks this year as part of the second phase of IPSP “Bayanihan” from 2014 to 2016.
“We will complete our targets under ‘Bayanihan’ for the next three years…second half, we will sustain the gains and hopefully before 2016…there will be no more violence, no more conflict, no more armed struggle,” Bautista said.
“2014, we will start the transition…we will initiate already (the transition), gradual transition, handing over to the appropriate agencies of government the peace and security and preparing for our other mandates like territorial defense, even addressing climate change,” he added.
The AFP chief said that the gradual transition is anchored on the modernization program of the AFP.
The IPS “Bayanihan” was launched in 2011 and aimed at rendering the insurgency problem in the country to insignificant level by 2016.
According to Bautista, the military has gained so much against the insurgents during the initial phase of “Bayanihan.” Many provinces previously influenced by communist insurgents were declared areas ready for development after ridding them with the rebels.
“We will sustain the ‘Bayanihan.’ It’s more of an appeal to our people to end all internal conflict because there are more pressing concerns, urgent concerns that we need to address,” said Bautista.
The AFP chief cited the devastation brought about by super typhoon “Yolanda” last November where the military served as first responder during the calamity. He also mentioned the ongoing dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“We are witness to ‘Yoalnda,’ climate change, we are witness to our problems in the West Philippine Sea and many more which call for us as people to be cohesive, to be focused on problems that we face as a people,” Bautista said.
“So, it is imperative for us to join hands in finally ending internal conflict. We are now in modern times, insurgencies are for Jurassic era,” he added.
Bautista said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) should now realize that the Filipinos do not want armed struggle.
“I hope they see the writing on the wall that the Filipino people desires peace, prosperity that all of us will enjoy,” he said.
Article Source: The Daily Tribune