April 17, 2018
After 38 years of service, the 49th chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is set to bow out in a change of command ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.
During the ceremony that will preside by President Rodrigo Duterte, General Rey Leonardo Guerrero will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., the current commander of the AFP Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City.
Guerrero served as AFP chief of staff for almost six months after his term was extended by the president when he reached his retirement age of 56 on December 17, 2017.
Before being appointed as AFP chief of staff last October 26, 2018, Guerrero headed the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City.
Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, AFP public affairs chief, said the military has recorded more than 6,000 rebels neutralized during the term of Guerrero as AFP chief.
“During his term as the AFP Chief, the concerted efforts of AFP units in the conduct of focused military and intelligence operations alongside intensified stakeholder engagements resulted in the neutralization of 6,817 New People’s Army (NPA) personalities as of April 15,” he said.
“A total of 6,709 of these have surrendered, broken down as follows: 723 regular NPAs and Sangay ng Partido sa Lokal members; 513 Militia ng Bayan; 712 underground organization members; and 4,761 mass supporters,” he added.
Garcia said 47 other NPAs were killed while 61 were apprehended in legitimate military operations.
“A total of 288 assorted firearms were also seized from the NPAs,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the intensified efforts against the local terror groups and foreign fighters resulted in the neutralization of 457 various terror personalities composed of 81 killed, 280 apprehended/arrested, and 96 surrendered,” he added.
According to Garcia under the guidance of Guerrero, “the AFP judiciously utilized martiallLaw in the implementation of the campaign against loose firearms. Various AFP units facilitated the surrender of a total of 1,424 assorted loose firearms with the cooperation of local government units and clan leaders in Mindanao.”
“This includes 81 firearms surrendered by residents and officials in Lanao Del Sur on March 24 and March 26 and 106 firearms surrendered by local executives in Maguindanao last March 26 and 27,” he said.
“Hundreds of loose firearms were voluntarily surrendered by politicians and clans in various parts of Mindanao. The AFP also launched over 85,930 checkpoint operations; 47,557 security patrols; and over 6,791 critical infrastructure and installations security,” he added.
With these accomplishments, Guerrero recognized the efforts and sacrifices of the personnel and members of the AFP.
“It is with great pride that I commend the AFP Chain-of-Command, the members of the joint, personal, and special staff, the officers, the enlisted personnel, and the civilian employees who all together performed their functions well for the accomplishment of their respective units’ missions, not to mention the many sacrifices they made, that brought the AFP organization to where it is now,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS
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