DAVAO CITY—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will focus on the fight against the New People’s Army (NPA) after their success in battling the Maute Group in Marawi City.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo M. Año, in a speech during his visit at the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) on Tuesday, said that there will be more Army battalions deployed in the Eastmincom area, since most of the places are NPA infested.
“Now that the Marawi crisis is over, we will redeploy more military presence, we will return the troops here,” he said.
Año also added the Philippine Army will activate additional 10 Infantry Battalions, six of which will be deployed in Eastmincom areas.
“We want to end the Communist Party of the Philippines [CPP-]NPA,” he said.
He added this new mandate came from the order of President Duterte.
Año said the 8,000 new recruits for the Army will be completed by November this year. Majority of the new recruits will be deployed in Eastmincom.
“By January, additional 5,000 troops will be recruited because we want it to happen that, by the end of 2018, there will be no more CPP-NPAs in the whole Philippines,” he said.
“And we can start the massive economic development, especially in the area of Mindanao,” he added.
He said the government will be constructing highways, bridges and railway stations in different parts in Mindanao, and this will not be attained if there is a peace and order problem.