New AFP chief Carlito Galvez: 'We must now walk the path of peace'
MANILA, Philippines – New Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr vowed to support the peace process in Mindanao.
"We must now walk the path of peace," Galvez said in his speech on Wednesday, April 18, when he formally assumed the top post in the Philippine military.
Galvez takes the helm as Congress is poised to pass a law that will create a new Bangsamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
"I take this opportunity to support the peace process with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front). We look forward to the final political resolution of conflict in Mindanao," Galvez said.
Galvez, who served most of his military career in Mindanao, is a known supporter of the Mindanao peace process. (READ: Who is Carlito Galvez Jr, the next military chief?)
He has good relations with rebel groups talking peace with the government, both the MILF and the MNLF. He also is cordial with local officials and stakeholders in Mindanao.
"Even though soldiers are warriors, we shall always prepare the path for peace. We'll support all peace initiatives of the government," he said.
He said he will strengthen peace mechanisms and create conditions for just and lasting peace.
Galvez also vowed to defeat the Abu Sayyaf Group and end terrorism. He stressed the need to continue to address violent extremism, citing how the war in Marawi last year has "shown us how truly destructive violent extremism can be."
"We have won many battles but we have yet to win the war. Violent extremism remains a threat. Too much blood has been spilled, too many lives have been lost to terror and hate."
He said he will also end the communist insurgency. He blamed the communist rebels for bringing "misery" to the people. – Rappler.com