Clement says he may not be able to end insurgency before term ends January 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement "to finish the insurgency problem as soon as possible."
But Clement, who was named to the military's top post on Tuesday, admitted he may not accomplish the task within his term, which ends on January 2020.
"President gave me one marching order and that's to finish the insurgency problem as soon as possible," he said.
"I might not be able to finish that during my term but he wants me to ensure that whatever we have accomplished so far as far as insurgency problem is concerned is that it's continued and we will be able to solve the problem before he steps down... in 2022," he added.
Clement said the fight against insurgency is not just the fight of the military but all of the Filipino people.
"My personal view about ending insurgency is that if we consider the threat of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-new People's Army) as a problem of, or the problem of insurgency, is it a problem of the military or is the problem of the country that has to be addressed? Because if we look at it as from the perspective of the country perspective, if the CPP NPA is our enemy then all of us have to participate in that campaign," he said.
"My stint as chief of staff will have to be focused on contributing on what the AFP is currently doing. I was not installed here to change everything, change all the programs and the systems that the AFP is implementing...I was installed to make sure that all of the programs that the AFP is implementing is continued until such time that we finish and accomplish all of this task," he added. Robina Asido/DMS