AFP prepares for possible deployment; law-abiding citizens need not worry
Armed Forces of the Philippines prepares for stringent ECQ enforcement
MANILA – Possible stricter enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine measures may take place next week after President Rodrigo Duterte spoke of the possibility of deployment of Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel should there be a deterioration in discipline and order as more people refuse to heed calls to stay home and observe social distancing.
Marine Brig. General Edgard Arevalo, AFP Spokesperson said he talked with the Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force Lt. General Allen T. Paredes who confirmed the existence of an internal memorandum providing advance information to guide their personnel.
“To date, there is no order from President Duterte to deploy AFP personnel. But it is incumbent and customary on the part of the leadership of the Philippine Air Force, and the AFP under General Filemon Santos, jr. for that matter, to exercise its initiative of alerting and preparing our personnel including Rules Of Engagement,” he said in a statement released to the media.
Providing context to President Duterte’s statement last week, General Arevalo said the AFP will prepare for possible deployment with the Philippine National Police (PNP) “in case the people will continue to defy the protocols and disobey the rules.”
He added even before the announcement, city and municipal mayors of Quezon, Pasay, Parañaque and Mandaluyong, including Pateros sought the assistance of the AFP in the enforcement of regulations as almost all barangays in the National Capital Region were seeking the military’s and police assistance “which shows the magnitude of the problem.”
As the instruction was made on national television, the AFP took cognizance of the order and already prepares for it even before the order to deploy is given.
“That, we suppose, makes the AFP unique and dependable as an institution because of initiative and foresight. We take orders and know which are specific tasks and which are implied,” he added.
General Arevalo downplayed concern and undue alarm of the AFP’s natural reaction of the AFP to prepare and deploy whenever it becomes necessary.
He explained what is more alarming is the number of people who blatantly violate the law and disobey rules and health protocols to prevent possible fatalities as COVID-19 pandemic rages.
“Law abiding citizens and those who follow the rules should not worry. There is no reason to be alarmed,” General Arevalo concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo (Facebook Profile Photo)