AFP to be ‘very deliberate’ in identifying state enemies: Sobejana

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be more deliberate and careful in performing its mandate particularly in going after enemies of the state, its new chief said on Friday.

“I would like to reiterate (na) gagawin namin yung aming trabaho (we will do our job) in a very deliberate manner, we should be extra careful lalo na sa pagsasalita (especially in speaking), we should be very accurate in determining the enemies of the state kasi (because) I do believe that for us to win this war, we should not just make ourselves bigger but make the enemy smaller, so it’s better to create friends than creating enemies,” AFP chief-of-staff. Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

Sobejana said such approaches are necessary as the AFP is mandated to serve the people and should not appear as their enemy.

He added that the military should learn from its mistakes in order to better serve the people.

“We should not hurt anybody unless he is the enemy of the state so we have to really properly identify the enemies of the state as what I have said so that walang (there is no) collateral damage and so on so rest assured na magiging deliberate kami sa aming ginagawa (we will be deliberate in our acts),” he added.

Sobejana’s remarks came in the wake of red-tagging accusations hurled at the military by various organizations, the latest of which is the erroneous list of alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members which drew flak on social media.

In his first order as AFP chief, Sobejana urged all units to come up with quick wins so that they can put an end to terrorism and insurgency.

“With us fighting insurgency and terrorism for five decades now, I highlighted that we should come up with our quick wins and catch up plan so that we can say that or we can put an end to the menace of terrorism and insurgency and we have to take advantage of the mechanism at hand particularly the EO (Executive Order) 70 wherein it calls for a Whole-of-the Nation Approach, so ibig sabihin (this means) we have recognized that security is a shared responsibility. Everybody in the government should take part and even the community sector or the civilian sector or the community as a whole should even be involved in our peace and security efforts,” Sobejana said. PNA.GOV.PH