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War vs threat groups continues, says AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said yesterday that it will continue to conduct focused military operations to win the war against threat groups in the country this year.

In an interview, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military will work hand-in-hand with the local government to win the war against the threat groups such as the Maute Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and Abu Sayyaf Group.

“We will work with local government units so that they can effectively reach out to these individuals and perhaps convince them to have a change of heart so that as one nation we can work together for the upliftment of the lives of our citizens instead of having these conflicts,” Padilla said.

Padilla claimed the AFP has successfully dealt with all local terrorist groups last year.

“The Armed Forces showed its determined efforts to deal with these groups so as to secure our municipalities and major cities, so 2016 has proved to be, showed and proved that the Armed Forces is effectively performing and doing its job following the successful arrests of many of the Davao City bombing suspects,” he said.

“These efforts by the military prevented many violent activities from being conducted within these communities,” Padilla added.

Padilla said the AFP remains supportive of President Duterte’s agenda to have a long lasting and justice with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front this year.

“The year 2016 was a pioneering year for the resumption, it was a good year for the resumption of the peace talks and hopefully year 2017 will start with a good joint declaration,” Padilla said. (Francis T. Wakefield)