MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will beef up intelligence operations to foil New People's Army (NPA) hit squads from attacking off-duty military personnel.
This was disclosed by AFP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo in a message to reporters Monday.
"While it still remains an idea (to form a unit tasked to hunt or neutralize NPA hit squads) of the President as of this time, we will continue to step up our intelligence some more, continue to remind our troops to be extra vigilant during 'Liberty', Rest and Recreation', or otherwise non-combat activities to prevent them from falling prey to treacherous NPA attacks," Arevalo said.
Arevalo said the creation of the new unit highlights President Rodrigo Duterte's determination to stamp out the NPA liquidation squads.
The President earlier mulled the idea of creating the AFP's own liquidation squad to specifically go after NPA hit squads targeting security personnel.
"I do not want to second guess what's in the mind of the President by calling it Duterte Death Squad (DDS). But to us, it could've carried his name with it to show that he is personally resolved and determined to stamp out this terrorist NPA's liquidation squads," he added.
If the AFP is to be asked, Arevalo said the military can call it by another name like Team Counter-NPA Liquidation Squad and other similar names.
"We advocate a creation of teams comprised of elite soldiers to form that Team and we do not want its success to be referred to as the death squad of the President whose only intent as the Commander-in-Chief is to realize his care and compassion to the men and women of the AFP (and the welfare of their families) who may be victimized by the NPA," the AFP spokesperson said. (PNA)