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Monday, April 15, 2024

Galvez firms up DND leadership, issues 12-point defense guidance

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Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. issued on Thursday his 12-point defense guidance as he moved to solidify the defense and military establishments amid reported dissension in the ranks brought about by the abrupt resignation of his predecessor and the reappointment of a new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff.

Galvez issued his guidance, two days after he assumed the mantle of leadership of the DND following the resignation of former Department of National Defense Officer in Charge Jose Faustino Jr. and the installation of Gen. Andres Centino as chief of staff of the AFP, his second stint to the post.

The abrupt resignation of Faustino and the reappointment of Centino, vice Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, were perceived to have spawned rumblings in the uniformed service, but which military officials however dismissed as non-existent.

Among the guidance of Galvez include orders for “unwavering patriotism” by employees of the defense department and the soldiers, his leadership’s support to the modernization program of the military and the need to end the communist-led insurgency.

He assured the commitment of “one defense team” to the “Constitution, the flag, the Commander-in- Chief and to the democratic processes.”

“In the coming days, I will personally visit AFP commands and units to discuss further the department’s overall direction,” Galvez said.

Galvez also assured his leadership’s full support to the peace efforts in Mindanao, including in the transition of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government and the holding of its elections in 2025.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Military Academy gave a testimonial parade and review to Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., the outgoing commander of the Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), who will retire on January 26 this year.

The Nolcom said that under Torres, it has neutralized 88 New People’s Army personalities, the surrender and recovery of 207 various firearms and the dismantling of terrorist groups east and west front committees of Komiteng Rehiyong-Cagayan Valley (KRCV) and the Regional Sentro De Grabidad (RSDG, KRCV) as well as the declaration of Ilocos Region and Quirino Province as insurgency-free.

On territorial defense operations, the area command carried out a total of 77 air patrols and 37 surface patrols.

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