After Atimonan, AFP reviews back-up aid for PNP
MANILA - The military is reviewing its processes and framework of cooperation with the Philippine National Police under the Joint Peace and Order Security Committee, following the involvement of soldiers at the recent bloody checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon.
After getting pinned this morning with a four-star shoulderboard by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said at a press conference that he has ordered the review.
"We are reviewing right now to make sure, or so that we can enhance further yung cooperation natin and so that wala ng ganitong ano, incident na mangyari," he said.
Bautista said they are now looking at the possibility of how due diligence can be employed by the soldiers in the field, given time constraints, in providing assistance to police counterparts.
He said believes the soldiers went there in good faith, but added they are still awaiting the result of the investigation of the National Bureau of Investigation before conducting any definite action.
Bautista said the morale of the AFP is still high despite the incident.
"They were doing their job and yun lang naman ang ano nila, kwan nila, ginawa nila, so, so far, wala namang problema,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AFP chief was saddened the by the recent attacks conducted by the New People's Army.
"Nakakalungkot nga na nangyayari ito. We offered our brothers a chance to resolve issues in a peaceful manner and that remains to be our position,” Bautista said.
The general said they will leave it up to the people to decide if they want a peaceful resolution or armed struggle. He maintained the AFP has a responsibility to protect the people.
"Kaya ngayon hinahabol ng ating security forces yung mga suspects dun sa incident na yun, but we will continue to sustain yung ano natin, to pursue yung agenda natin sa Bayanihan Internal Peace and Security Plan where we offer our people, our brothers a choice or an end to armed struggle,” he said.