The next Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Chief-of-Staff must be someone who can help end the insurgency swiftly and be an instrument of lasting peace.
We thank AFP Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Oban, Jr., who will be retiring in December 2011, for his service to the country thus far, but we are also asking the President to appoint a successor who can help achieve this administration’s goal of lasting peace. We need someone who can help end insurgency at the soonest possible time through aggressive peace talks and creative peace-building.
This administration has already made headway in the peace process, and it has proven its sincerity in working for peace. The next AFP chief must work with the President’s mission to end war and insurgency through dialogue, collaboration, and rebuilding our communities.
Let us also remember that one of the root causes of insurgency is poverty. If we are able to establish peace and order in the countryside, then we can pave the way for progress and prosperity in those areas.
With peace, the AFP can help the civilian government in reconstructing communities through public services, public works, and maintaining peace and order against criminal elements.
There is much work, much rebuilding to be done. But we first need to end this decades-old war. Without insurgency, which has already cost us over P100 billion in the past four decades, we can allocate the much-needed resources for the basic services, infrastructure, and the necessary investments in the countryside and agricultural development.
We can help create the programs needed to strengthen agricultural and food production, but we must first win the peace. Without peace, there can be no progress. The next AFP Chief-of-Staff must make peace his mandate.