AFP urges public cooperation on peace-security bid

February 6, 2011 11:24 am 

MANILA, Feb. 5 -– The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is calling on all Filipinos to help boost its bid for peace and security nationwide.

”We’re asking everyone to be involved – this goes beyond the military approach,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said Saturday during the Kapihan sa Sulo forum in Quezon City.

He noted the AFP welcomes everyone’s cooperation, particularly as the military continues improving its operations to help promote peace and order in the country while lessening during such engagements as much collateral damage as possible.

This year, Mabanta said the AFP began implementing its 2011-2016 Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP).

”Through this plan, we intend to win the peace instead of just defeating armed threat groups,” he said.

He noted that such paradigm shift requires consultations and engagements with various stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Among the benefits authorities expect from such consultations is minimizing the possibility for armed conflict when resolving real and perceived injustices.

AFP describes IPSP as a plan that promotes a ‘whole-of-nation’ approach for attaining peace and security.

This means achieving such goal requires the participation of all stakeholders, Mabanta said.

”It’s people-centered,” he added.

AFP said the IPSP covers four courses of action that soldiers must carry out.

One of these is for them to contribute to the permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts in the country.

Another is their use of legitimate force to conduct focused military operations against armed threat groups.

The third requires supporting community-based peace and development efforts.

Carrying out security sector reform in the AFP is the fourth course of action.

AFP is under fire again for the alleged multi-million- peso fund scam involving ex-Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and other former high-ranking military officials.

Former Lt. Col. George Rabusa already revealed what he knows about the scam.

Mabanta said the AFP welcomes Rabusa’s expose and congressional investigations on this matter.

”We look at this as an opportunity to become better,” Mabanta said.

AFP earlier reported continuing to institute systemic and operational reforms so its flaws can be addressed.

Among the reforms Mabanta identified are devolving AFP’s funds to its units down the line, activating bids and awards committees at different levels of the organization and addressing procurement problems.

”We also implemented almost all recommendations of the Feliciano Commission,” he said, referring to the body that looked into military adventurism in the country.

He said these recommendations include simplifying AFP’s procurement procedures, strictly implementing control measures over supplies and instituting measures to increase transparency within the organization. (PNA)

scs/CJT/rsm

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