While willing to support any initiatives that will lead to a just and honorable peace, newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez on Wednesday said the military will never hesitate to use its might when innocent Filipinos are attacked and harassed by the nation’s enemies.
“But one thing I want to make clear to defiant enemies of the people and the state who may misread our intentions: while we give primacy to peace, we will never hesitate to use our might when innocent civilians are threatened and attacked,” Galvez said during the change of command ceremonies held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Galvez stressed that the AFP will not hesitate to conduct intense focused military operations to stop atrocities committed against civilians.
“We will frustrate terrorist acts that disrupt economic activities,” he pointed out.
Earlier, Galvez said that it is time to reconcile with “misguided Filipino brothers and sisters” and walk the path of peace.
“It is time for rebuilding and reconciliation amongst Filipinos. It is the best time to walk the path of peace. I once again propose to you, brothers and sisters, that you consider returning to the folds of the law and avail (of the) government’s offer to end all conflicts,” the newly-appointed AFP chief added.
Galvez, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, replaced Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, a member of PMA Class of 1984, who was honored with a testimonial parade and review and the prestigious award of the Philippine Legion of Honor (Rank of Commander).
Guerrero was appointed as AFP chief on Oct. 26, 2017, replacing Gen. Eduardo Año, who stepped down after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
The former was supposed to retire on Dec. 17, 2017 but his term as AFP chief was extended by another four months by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Also on Wednesday, Duterte appointed Guerrero as the new head of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
With the retirement of Guerrero, Galvez became the 50th AFP chief-of-staff.
Present during his assumption-of-command ceremonies were President Rodrigo Duterte, former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and other ranking government officials. PNA