02 December 2016

AFP urges public vigilance
Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesman Brigadier General Restituto F. Padilla, Jr. called upon the Filipino citizenry to be vigilant in the fight against terrorism and share this responsibility with the Police and the Armed Forces.

General Padilla said in a press briefing on Friday, Dec. 2, “Our call to the public, as we have made yesterday is that we must all subscribe to the tenet that security is a shared responsibility. It is not something that is placed on the shoulders of your police and your military alone. That every community, for it to remain secure, (there) must be a shared task on the part of every citizen.”

Padilla said that the presence of any suspicious person must immediately be reported by the citizens to the authorities stationed in their area such as the barangay watchmen, barangay officials, police or military men.

Padilla underscored the need for unity when he said, ”Kaya nga po kahapon, ang aming panawagan sa lahat ngating mga kababayan ay lagi pong isaisip na kung nais po natin na ang ating komunidad at ang ating kinarooroonan ay laging safe o maayos, tayo po dapat ay nakikipagtulungan. Sama-sama po dapat tayo.”

The general also said this call for vigilance will continuously be repeated by the authorities until the citizens come to realize that ensuring the security of the community is the common responsibility of everyone.

An update pertaining to the operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Butig, Lanao del Sur was also given by Padilla. He said the Sentro or the heart of the Municipality of Butig is well in the hands of government as no other signs of enemy presence have been seen.

The built–up area or most of the buildings that were tentatively occupied by a lot of the local terrorist groups who entered the municipality last week had all been cleared, according to Padilla.

“What remains for us is to clear the outskirts and that operation is ongoing. The Sentro itself is well-secured and we are preparing and paving the way to allow the local government to take it back so that their constituents can return to their homes and resume their normal lives,” said the AFP spokesman.

At the same press briefing, Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag aired the government’s congratulatory message to the new King of Thailand. “The Philippines wishes to convey our warmest congratulations to his Majesty, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, on his ascension and proclamation as the King of Thailand. We are confident that his reign will continue to bring happiness, peace and prosperity to the Thai people. We wish him success as he leads the Kingdom of Thailand.”###PND