By Francis Wakefield
About a thousand soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) General Headquarters (GHQ) and AFP Wide Service Support Units (AFPWSSUs) assembled at the GHQ Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, to prepare for the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
The AFP accounted all available officers and enlisted personnel with the exception of those who were on duty manning their respective units and offices. These troops are on standby mode ready for dispatch to support the Philippine National Police (PNP) which is leading security efforts during the occasion.
AFP chief of staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr attended the mustering of troops to express his gratitude to the soldiers. He thanked them for their dedication to their duty, and wished for them to have a happy weekend inside the camp.
As part of its measures, the AFP raised the alert level to ‘red’ within GHQ and AFPWSSUs since 8 a.m. on Friday to indicate its immediate readiness in responding to any threat that may arise during the occasion.
The Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) will take the lead in supporting the PNP’s operations. It will deploy 1,021 personnel from the Army, Air Force, and Navy. They will be complemented by four armored vehicles, 16 M35 trucks, 19 KM450, 7 ambulances on standby, and 7 special purpose vehicles.
Moreover, the JTF-NCR will position three Infantry companies, two infantry platoons, seven Civil Disturbance Management Companies, three Search and Rescue Response teams, one Air Defense Asset team, and two CBRNE teams.
As of this report, the AFP has not monitored any threat from local terrorist groups however its forces will continue to be on a proactive stance against all threats of violence and will exert every effort to preserve the peace, particularly in NCR, where the seat of the government is.
The AFP calls on our people to report to authorities any suspicious individuals and activities in their surroundings. The fight against terrorism and the preservation of peace is a shared responsibility of everyone.