In phot- Newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal delivers his speech during his assumption on Tuesday at Camp Aguinaldo

Gains in new Bangsamoro region ensured: Madrigal

MANILA -- All efforts will be exerted to ensure that the gains made in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are sustained.

This was emphasized by newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal during his assumption speech Tuesday.

"We will continue to sustain our gains in the BARMM by ensuring the successful implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to usher in a new era of stability and progress in the area," he added.

The BOL plebiscite will take place on January 21 and February 6 next year.

Madrigal also said the pace to diminish the existence of terrorist cells and other armed spoilers of peace will continue in order to protect people and communities from them.

This is now being done through the countering violent extremism initiatives, with the support of concerned agencies and the Muslim community.

Madrigal replaced Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., his mistah at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, who retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

The newly-appointed AFP chief, the 51st, served notably as 4th Infantry Division commander, Southern Luzon Command and Eastern Mindanao Command chief.

His appointment as next AFP chief was approved last Dec. 5 by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Madrigal is set to retire on September 28, 2019. (PNA)