THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is sending more troops to Sulu to constrict the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and hopefully finish their terroristic activities by year-end.
“That is our objective, that is our goal [before the year ends],” said Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano, Army commander after he disclosed that two more battalions have been sent to Sulu.
This brought to 10 the number of battalions sent to Sulu following the spate of kidnappings perpetrated by the ASG and the subsequent execution of two Canadian hostages, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, not to mention the deployment of special units.
”Iyun, ang purpose dyan actually in the entire Sulu is ma-constrict natin yung movement ng Abu Sayyaf at yun nga we will force them to fight us or stop their illegal activities [That’s the main objection actually in the entire Sulu, to constrict the movement of the ASG and force them to fight security forces and stop their illegal activities].
He disclosed that the government’s operation is for the long term: “Hindi lang naman ‘to short term ang ginagawa natin, programa ‘yan long term hanggang maubos, mawala yung Abu Sayyaf dyan sa Sulu [That’s the government operation. It is not just for the short term, but a long-term operation until we finish off the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu]” he added.
According to Ano, resources will be poured into the strongholds of the group to achieve the military’s objective.
The all-out offensives against the ASG are being complemented by civic military operations and bayanihan team activities.
“So with the commitment being provided, with the commitment and support that will be provided by the President and his direction and order na talagang tapusin ‘tong Abu Sayyaf, kaya yan [To finish the Abu Sayyaf, that can be done],” Ano said.