Friday, May 27, 2016

Pact with Reds could ensure soldiers come home alive–military official

From the Website of INQUIRER

Pact with Reds could ensure soldiers come home alive–military official

DAVAO CITY – Inking a peace pact with the communists will hugely benefit soldiers who are fighting in the frontline, a military official said on Wednesday.

Col. Casiano Monilla, deputy division commander of the military’s 10th Infantry Division, said that a cessation of hostilities would ensure soldiers going back home to their families alive.

“There will be a significant drop on the casualties among our soldiers. There will also be a decrease in the number of families who are deprived of their fathers,” Monilla said in a press conference here Wednesday.

Monilla, however, said it is an “emotional issue” for government forces, especially the plan of presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to release all political prisoners.

“This is as a very emotional issue for the armed forces especially that the cost of bringing them to justice is not just about money, but also countless lives of our soldiers,” Monilla said.

Despite this, Monilla said they see no dissent from the soldiers considering that they, too, are thrilled over the gains of ending the conflict.

“We do not see any dissenting opinion because the soldiers on the ground will be the one who will benefit greatly from this. They will be the first who will express their gratitude,” Monilla said.

He added that he trusts the decisions of Duterte and the military will follow it sincerely.
“We will always follow the higher wisdom of people especially of the incoming president. If he sees this as the solution to really achieve peace then the armed forces will always be toeing the line of his decisions,” he said.

Apart from the rate of casualties, Monilla said solving the conflict with the communists would help redirect the resources and efforts of the security sector toward improving the country’s external defense.

“We know that we were ordered to conduct internal security operations because the police is too busy to address domestic problems. This is the reason why they cannot cover the insurgency. If there will be peace, the AFP can now perform its true mandate of securing our territorial integrity and protecting our people and nation,” Monilla said.

Monilla added that this might finally answer the dream of the armed forces to improve national defense through the modernization and training of military forces and installations against external threats. CDG