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Yano: AFP ‘on track’ to crush communists in 2010

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:06:00 05/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lieutenant General Alexander Yano said the military is “on track” to defeat the communist insurgency by the end of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term in 2010.

Yano gave the assurance a day after Arroyo reiterated her 2010 deadline for security forces “to put a stop to their [rebels’] ideological nonsense and criminal acts once and for all.”

“We are on track. We are there as scheduled and as planned,” Yano told reporters at Villamor Airbase, during his first visit to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) headquarters as chief of staff.

“Our thrust for internal security operations will be sustained. There will be no major changes as of now,” Yano added.

Aside from the “defeat” of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), Arroyo also set 2010 as the deadline to “destroy” the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, and “contain” the Moro rebellion.

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the military would recruit 600 new Marines and study ways to fast-track the modernization program, in view of the 2010 deadline.

Earlier, the military also started offering additional operational funds to field units who score big against communist rebels, during the term of Yano’s predecessor, Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who retired on May 12.

According to military estimates, the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), numbered 5,470 at the end of the first quarter this year.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-05-23T05:24:35+00:00UTC05bUTCFri, 23 May 2008 05:24:35 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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