Guerrero to step down from AFP top post Wednesday

MANILA After 38 years in the military service, Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero will formally step down as Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday and pass the post to outgoing Western Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez.

In a statement Tuesday, AFP public affairs office chief, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, said President Rodrigo R. Duterte will preside over the turnover ceremony that will be held at the parade grounds of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Guerrero will be honored with a testimonial parade and review and will be presented the prestigious Philippine Legion of Honor (Rank of Commander).

While serving as Eastern Mindanao Command head, the outgoing AFP chief orchestrated the execution of Community Support Programs, a key component of the military's new operation plan, the Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan.

During Guerrero's term as AFP chief, the concerted efforts of AFP units in the conduct of focused military and intelligence operations, alongside intensified stakeholder engagements, resulted in the neutralization of 6,817 members of the New People's Army (NPA) as of April 15.

A total of 6,709 of them have surrendered, 723 of whom were regular NPAs and Sangay ng Partido sa Lokal members; 513 were Militia ng Bayan; 712 were underground organization members; and 4,761 were mass supporters.

Moreover, 47 NPAs were also killed, while 61 others were apprehended in legitimate focused military operations.

A total of 288 assorted firearms were also seized from the rebels.

Meanwhile, intensified efforts against local terror groups and foreign fighters have resulted in the neutralization of 457 various terror personalities, 81 of whom were killed, 280 were apprehended, and 96 surrendered.

Faced with an equally challenging task of rebuilding Marawi City from the devastation brought by the armed terrorist attack, the AFP has conducted activities to support the overall effort of the government, spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense, for the City's recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation.

A total of 3,953 assorted unexploded ordnance (UXO) and 738 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been found and disposed of.

Seven out of nine sectors in the main battle area have already been cleared of UXOs and IEDs. The remaining two are still being cleared of explosives that may have been trapped within collapsed buildings.

The AFP has also deployed engineering units to assist cognizant agencies in the construction of temporary shelters for Internally Displaced Persons.

In partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Housing Authority, the AFP under Guerrero completed 250 units of temporary shelters in Barangay Sagonsongan and is supporting the construction of additional 570 units of temporary shelters in the area.

Under Guerrero's tenure, the Letter of Instruction on Pagbabago Juliet was also issued to revise and update the Pagbabago India and reiterate the force provider, force employer concept.

It defines and standardizes the command relationships of AFP units based on existing doctrines and current operational guidelines.

Several units and offices have also been activated, among them the Tactical Operations Wings (TOW) that re-designated the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd TOWs and 579th Composite Tactical Wings into Northern Luzon, Central, Western Mindanao, and West TOWs, respectively.

Five infantry battalions (IB) have likewise been activated under Guerrero's term, namely the 90IB, 91IB, 93IB, and 94IB following the increase in the number of Philippine Army personnel as ordered by Duterte.

The Special Operations Command (SOCOM) of the Army has also been reconfigured into the AFPSOCOM, which will consolidate all AFP special operations forces under one commanding unit.

AFPSOCOM will take command of, and supervise the Special Operations Wing of the Air Force, the Naval Special Operations Group of the Navy; Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Forces Regiment and Light Reaction Regiment of the Army; and the Joint Special Operations Group of GHQ.

The AFP Systems Engineering Office (AFPSEO) was also activated to manage the implementation of the AFP modernization and Self-Reliant Defense Posture programs.

The AFPSEO will act as the technical adviser to the CSAFP on matters related to the systems engineering design of the weapon systems and defense equipment that will be acquired under the Revised AFP Modernization Program with regard to their functional and material designs.

The activation of the AFPSEO will also put into place a dedicated office for the management and implementation of the various modernization projects along the five major components of the program, namely: Capability, Materiel and Technology Development; Bases and Support Systems Development; Force Restructuring and Organizational Development; Human Resource Development; and Doctrine Development.

Under Guerrero's guidance, the AFP has judiciously utilized Martial Law in the implementation of the campaign against loose firearms.

Various AFP units have facilitated the surrender of a total of 1,424 assorted loose firearms with the cooperation of local government units and clan leaders in Mindanao.

The total figure includes 81 firearms surrendered by residents and officials in Lanao del Sur on March 24 and March 26; and 106 firearms surrendered by local executives in Maguindanao on March 26-27.

Hundreds of loose firearms were voluntarily surrendered by politicians and clans in various parts of Mindanao.

The AFP had also launched more than 85,930 checkpoint operations; 47,557 security patrols; and more than 6,791 critical infrastructure and installations security.

It is with great pride that I commend the AFP Chain-of-Command, the members of the Joint, Personal, and Special Staff, the Officers, the Enlisted Personnel, and the Civilian Employees who all together performed their functions well for the accomplishment of their respective units' missions, not to mention the many sacrifices they made, that brought the AFP Organization to where it is now, Guerrero said.

It was without a doubt that we have distinguished ourselves as an organization by performing our mandate with gusto and focus: to protect the Filipino people and the state. Rest assured, the AFP will remain a reliable force for peace and progress, securing the nation's core and peripheral interests and rendering service to the country in collaboration with other agencies towards the attainment of lasting peace and stability in the country, the outgoing AFP chief said.

Source: Philippine News Agency