DND: Gov’t can solve insurgency this year
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) is confident that security forces could solve the country’s internal security problems, including the decades-old communist insurgency, within the year.

DND spokesman Peter Galvez said the goal of addressing rebellion and other threats could be attained with the help of other sectors.

“I’m confident we can if we have the cooperation of everyone,” Galvez said when asked if he is optimistic that the internal threats could be addressed by the end of 2015.

“We’ve always been praying for this and we’ve always been wanting for this. I think if everyone simply cooperates, I believe we can help our country get rid of insurgency,” he added.

The military aims to resolve internal security issues so it can shift its focus to defending the country’s territory.

Galvez, however, admitted that the supporters of rebels continue to impede the transition towards territorial defense. “Of course, it will be hard. Of course, they have their own relatives assisting them,” he said.

The military aims to shift its focus to external defense and to turn over the lead role of maintaining internal security to local governments by 2016.

The goal, however, is constantly challenged by armed groups like the New People’s Army, the Abu Sayyaf and peace spoilers.

The strength of the Abu Sayyaf increased to 423 fighters last year despite the military’s claim that the membership of the local terrorist group had been significantly reduced, according to the military.

The membership of the Abu Sayyaf stood at 390 bandits in 2009 and 340 in 2010. The group’s strength was pegged at 381 in 2011 and at 398 in 2012 before it was estimated to be at 385 in 2013.

The communist rebels’ strength, meanwhile, stood at around 3,200 guerrillas in 2014 from about 4,000 fighters in the last few years, the military said.

Meanwhile, the military will renew its commitment to protect the nation during the New Year’s Call in Camp Aguinaldo today.

Security officials led by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. will attend the event.

Military field units will also conduct similar ceremonies in their respective headquarters.

The New Year’s Call follows the tradition of levees or royal receptions popular in the Canadian military and government.

 

 

ABU SAYYAF CAMP AGUINALDO DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN AND ARMED FORCES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE GALVEZ GREGORIO CATAPANG JR. MILITARY NEW PEOPLE NEW YEAR PETER GALVEZ
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