MANILA, Philippines – The son of a Philippine army general killed with 34 of his men by Muslim guerrillas in a 1977 massacre has assumed the country's top military post. He vowed to respect human rights in all military operations as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Army Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista called Thursday for an end to decades-long Muslim and communist insurgencies to free up the 120,000-strong military for other tasks like securing the country's territory. The Philippines has had recent territorial rifts with China over disputed South China Sea areas.
Bautista crafted the military's new counterinsurgency plan, which focuses on fostering community development instead of combat operations.
Bautista's father was gunned down with other soldiers by Muslim rebels, who had invited him to a peace dialogue.