Duterte asks AFP to reinvent detachments

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to reinvent detachments deployed in the government's counter-insurgency drive, saying that earlier strategies have not been effective in fighting terrorists.

In a speech in Davao City on Thursday, March 1, he said that instead of assigning detachments to be posted along highways, he would want them taken on a more mobile operation so they do not become easy targets.

"In a normal situation for a day, maraming dumadaan so mahihilo ka and ang soldier niyan (many vehicles pass by so you'll get overwhelmed and a soldier) could only give so much attention to one car," he said.

The President also made the same statement a day ago during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Christine Villas in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte.

Asked by reporters how his administration would deal with the New People's Army (NPA) with some of its members having surrendered in recent months, Duterte said he remains unwilling to resume negotiations at this time.

The President was also wary of reports that the NPA is now able to launch sniper attacks, with the alleged return of its "sparrow units."

Duterte suggested that the AFP mount machine guns over a ridge, though he warned this could be dangerous if terrorists attack them with silencer guns.

"And it's easily manufactured, and in the Philippines, you can buy one," he said.

The President maintained soldiers need to reinvent their doctrine on detachments, saying they will end up dying "if they just stand there." – Rappler.com