New AFP Chief of Staff vows to finish off terrorist groups, neutralize NPA

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Oct) –The new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Thursday vowed to “finish the remaining terrorist groups, neutralize the communist insurgency threat, and support law enforcement agencies in efforts against lawless armed groups,”

Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Guerrero assumed the top from Gen. Eduardo Ano who retired on Thursday, October 26, during change of command rites graced by President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo and former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte witnesses the program proper during the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command Ceremony at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on October 26, 2017. Also in the photo are Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo and newly-installed AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Rey Guerrero and former President Fidel Ramos. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Guerrero, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1984, was named to the top post by President Duterte from among four choices that included Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, PMA Class of 1985 who will retire in December next year.

Guerrero is retiring in December this year.

“I intend to use the might of the AFP to make peace a reality,” Guerrero vowed.

He said there is no better time than now “for us to finish our campaign” noting that the AFP’s high approval and trust rating “show that we have the overwhelming support of our countrymen and our Commander in Chief is providing us with the tools and resources that we need to prosecute our mission. It’s now up to us to continue to fulfill our part.”

Before he was named to the top post, Guerrero was chief of the Davao City-based Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City. He assumed the post on November 21, 2015.

Guerrero was named commander of the Task Force Davao in 2010 and was designated commander of the 701st Brigade based in Davao Oriental in 2012.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, at the anniversary of the Command in Davao City on September 1, 2017. Guerrero, a former commander of Task Force Davao, is the new AFP Chief of Staff. MINDANEWS PHOTO

In his speech at the change of command rites, President Rodrigo Duterte said the battle in Marawi “may be over but we must remain vigilant as we face the persistent challenges of terrorism [and] insurgency, especially in Mindanao.”

“I therefore enjoin our troops to support the leadership of General Guerrero by remaining committed to your mission of ensuring [the] safety and security of our nation,” he said.

“As we begin rebuilding from the ruins of war, we welcome Lt. General Rey Leonardo Guerrero as the new chief of staff with the hope that the AFP will remain at the forefront of our battle against all threats against our nation— external or internal,” Duterte said. (MindaNews)