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New Armed Forces chief unveils 5-point agenda

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‘Curb military adventurism, respect human rights’

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:17:00 05/12/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) set a five-point agenda for his 13-month tour of duty, which would center on curbing military adventurism, intensifying internal security operations, and reforming the organization.

Lieutenant General Alexander Yano took over as the 38th AFP chief, replacing retired general Hermogenes Esperon Jr., in ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday that were led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Our soldiers renew our commitment: First, to continue our abhorrence and renunciation of military adventurism of any sort. Second, to continue shielding the AFP organization from any and all overtures of, and involvement in partisan politics,” Yano said in his assumption speech.

“Third, to pursue with even more vigor our nation’s determined campaign against terrorism and insurgency. Fourth, to uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights, even in the face of the fiercest battles, in our determined bid to defeat enemies of peace and democracy. And fifth, to further the meaningful partnership between the defense department and the AFP, which will help push forward our quest for the Philippine Defense Reform,” he said.

Yano also pledged the military’s “full support” to Arroyo, “confident that [her] leadership is an excellent position to win this war” against poverty.

“Madame President, your leadership has laid down a clear blueprint for countryside growth. The AFP is not the agent of such growth, but we shall clear the way and pave the road,” he said.

“Madame President, before you is a strong AFP, defender of our nation, protector of our democracy, and servant of the people,” he said.

Addressing the nation, Yano offered assurances that the military “will always advocate unity in the force, loyalty to the chain of command, and internal consolidation.”

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Written by joelguinto

Mon+00:002008-05-12T13:03:01+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Mon, 12 May 2008 13:03:01 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm05

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