Anti-insurgency plan stepped up
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will intensify its anti-insurgency campaign under the Internal Peace and Security Plan or Oplan Bayanihan with minor additions in addressing threats, a general said on Sunday.
“The whole strategy of the IPSP Bayanihan has been enhanced to cope with the prevailing situation where there were peace talks with rebel groups. Supplemental concepts and operational plans are also new additions to the IPSP especially in dealing with terrorism and other lawless elements,” the general said in an interview Manila Standard.
He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk about the matter. The oplan would be the focal point of the speech of AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Eduardo Año during the AFP Day this week, he said.
“In general, the AFP will not be veering away from the concept and strategic objective of Oplan Bayanihan. The AFP will be making a big difference though when it comes to broadening the participation of all stakeholders toward progress and development,” the general said.
In Camp Aguinaldo, military public affairs Colonel Ed Arevalo, however, said there would be a new campaign plan.
“We will be implementing the new campaign plan starting January 2017. But there will be no formal launching. The CSAFP is expected to announce it in his Anniversary speech,” he said.
Arevalo talked about national security, defeating the enemies of the state and other threat groups but could not give more details.
He said he doesn’t know yet what would be the name of the new campaign plan but emphasized that this was the product of series of consultations with government agencies and the Technical Working Group of the AFP Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations or OJ3.
“We can say it is about the role that the AFP will perform in nation building,” he said.
Oplan Bayanihan replaced the Oplan Bantay Laya I and II, which both failed to eliminate the 48-year-old Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.
Leftist groups despised both the counter-insurgency plans as the AFP’s implementing machines to suppress people’s movements criticizing the government up to committing “extrajudicial killings” against activists.
The Duterte administration and the communist movement are currently negotiating for a bilateral ceasefire as part of confidence building for a possible signing of a permanent peace deal.