New AFP chief calls on military to unleash ''full force for the final blow'' against ''enemies of state''
New Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino on Friday called on the military to ''unleash our full force for the final blow that will ultimately destroy and defeat the enemies of the state.''
In his speech as he assumed command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Centino said:'' Our commander-in-chief has entrusted to us a crucial responsibility-- to end the local armed conflict before the end of his Presidential term on 30 June 2022.''
''Let us be mindful to accomplish this task before the set deadline,'' said Centino, the Army commanding general.
Centino warned the remaining insurgents and terrorist groups that the government ''is sincere and open to those who still want to return to the folds of the law.''
''If you insist, the full wrath of the AFP will hit you hard to the brink of your extinction,'' he said.
The Philippines has been battling the communist insurgency for a little over 50 years.
Centino replaced General Jose Faustino Jr. as AFP chief of staff hours a few before he retired from the military. Faustino was appointed as AFP chief on July 31, 2021.
Centino, a member of PMA Class 1988, will retire on Feb 4, 2023. He is the 11th AFP chief appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte in five months.
In a short message, President Rodrigo Duterte thanked Faustino ''for your remarkable service for the people and the nation.''
'' I pray for your good health so that you can spend more quality time with your family in the years ahead. Mabuhay ka and the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,'' added Duterte.
The Department of National Defense, in a statement, described Centino as ''an outstanding military commander.''
'' Centino will bring to the post his expertise and commitment to the achievement of lasting peace and development in the country. I am confident that Lt. Gen Centino will ably lead our men and women in the AFP in the pursuit of a higher degree of excellence and professionalism,'' it added. DMS