- Duterte names outgoing Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
- Visaya assured the country that despite Duterte’s close ties with the Left, the AFP will not turn into communists
- He explained that Duterte’s good relationship with the communist party is an effort to achieve true peace
Incoming Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) guaranteed the country that the organization would not become communist under the next administration despite Duterte’s relationship with leftist leaders.
President-elect Duterte, who is known for being a supporter of the Left and a friend to the communist party, declared Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya as AFP chief of staff under his term.
Visaya, who is also the outgoing chief of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) told AFP troops not to be deluded by any rumors about a coup.
According to Visaya, Duterte’s relationship with antigovernment groups, and his alacrity to offer cabinet posts to the left are because of the incoming president’s dream of creating change “which will lead to true peace.”
In his farewell speech to the troops in Pili, Camarines Sur, Visaya assured, “If he really wanted the country to become communist, then why did he designate many former military men to his Cabinet?”
He also added in the same speech that they should not believe any coup rumors.
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In a meeting in Davao City, Duterte told Visaya to ensure that the AFP should attend to the Abu Sayyaf problem. He also instructed the incoming AFP chief to support the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) operations and the drug campaign.
Visaya assured that the AFP will put strict measures internally to ensure that the troops were drug-free.
He reiterated that the Solcom troops should continue to exert pressure on the communist rebels through focused military operations.
“Until no official and clear-cut guidelines have been issued, until no formal talks have been made, we continue with our current operations in Bicol. Remember the New People’s Army announced they will increase tactical offensives against government forces until the last day of the Aquino administration,” he said.