“We want to end the CPP-NPA” –  AFP Chief of Staff

Members of the New Peoples Army in the countryside of Mindanao.- File Photo: Newsline.ph

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — After the success in battling the Maute Group in Marawi City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will now focus on the fight against New People’s Army (NPA).

AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año, during his visit at the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said more army battalions will be deployed in the Eastmincom area since most of its places are NPA infested.

“Ngayon natapos na yung Marawi crisis, mag-re deploy na tayo ng presence, may ibabalik na tayong pwersa dito (Now that the Marawi crisis is over, we will re-deploy and return the troops here ), ” he said.

Año also said the Philippine Army (PA) will activate additional 10 Infantry Battalions and six of it will be deployed in Eastmincom areas. “Ito’y para tuldokan na natin yang CPP-NPA na yan (We want to end the CPP-NPA),” he said.

He said this new mandate came from the order of President Rodrigo R. Duterte who early pronounced the war against the communist groups.

Año said the 8,000 new recruits for the army will be completed by November of this year which majority of these will be deployed in Eastmincom.  By January 2018,  an additional 5,000 troops will also be recruited to augment the military force.  “By then, we can start the massive economic development especially in the area of Mindanao,” he added.

The government is set to construct highways, bridges and railway stations in different parts in Mindanao.  “This will not be attained if the peace and order situation will not improve,” Año pointed out. -Armando B. Fenequito Jr.,/Newsline.ph