Government must wipe out the Abu Sayyaf Group

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WE have been sharing the grief of the family and friends of Canadian citizen John Ridsdel, savagely murdered on Monday by his Abu Sayyaf Group abductors after being held hostage for six months. We also strongly agree with the strong statement of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said, “This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”

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And we appreciate that Prime Minister Trudeau did not direct any of the blame toward our government, though he easily could have. Ridsdel’s death was entirely preventable.

Indeed, the ASG is wholly responsible for killing him – but the leadership in our armed forces, in our police forces, and in Malacañang are responsible for allowing it to happen.

If the ASG were a new phenomenon we might not feel such frustration at our government’s apparent inability to come to grips with the problem, but that is not the case.

The ASG long ago dropped any pretense of having any sort of religious or political aims, and has simply become a kidnap-for-ransom gang of thugs, one that for at least the last several years or so we have been told by our government and other interested parties such as the US, numbers perhaps 200 or 300 members at most.

The group certainly is extremely vicious, highly experienced in the sort of “warfare” they conduct, and very much at home in the areas in Mindanao in which they operate, and they should not be taken lightly by the forces sent to fight them. By the same token, they remain small in number, are comparatively less well-equipped than our Philippine military and police assets are, and have not significantly changed their tactics or areas of activity in many years.

At this point, there should be little to nothing our armed forces and government does not understand about the ASG, and yet for all the official bravado about waging an “all-out war,” or “relentlessly pursuing” the bandits, the law enforcement agencies are completely confounded by them. Despite these government efforts, the ASG still holds, at last report, as many as 18 other hostages, most of them foreign citizens, including three people in Ridsdel’s group – a Norwegian, and another Canadian and his Filipina partner – who are now in even graver peril of suffering the same fate.

It is long past time for the government to declare “all-out war” on these savage hoodlums and actually mean it. Unlike the circumstances of the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, its parent organization the Moro National Liberation Front, or the New People’s Army, all of whom have legitimate social and political concerns (despite how wrong their means of pursuing them may be), there is no value in engaging in discussions or otherwise trying to understand the ASG. They are criminals of the worst sort, and deserve to be treated as such – pursued with every available resource and brought to justice if at all possible, or destroyed if not.

We can no longer tolerate the savage greed of one small band of criminals or the ineffectiveness of our government ruining the image of the country before the world. Because, as is almost always the case, it is not just a matter of image, but of lost innocent lives, and the imposition of terror for terror’s sake on underserved and underdeveloped parts of the country.

We pray for the repose of the soul of Mr. Ridsdel, and we fervently pray for the safety of his friends who have not yet been freed. May God also grant the strength of arms and of will to our leaders and our armed forces to finally rid our land of this scourge.

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7 Comments

  1. The civilians are the once greatly affected by this war. It is not religion but for money. Some of rhe poorest people are in that region. Kidnapping is the biggest cottage industry in Mindanao. That only president that tried to eradicate these terrorist is President Estrada. Even President Marcos with all the power and intelligence he has was not able to eradicate these terrorist. I think that the only person that can stop them is President Estrada. Some minor changes and proper planning is all he needs. Estrada is a good president with bad vices. Duterte is a bad person with bad vices.

  2. the worse enemies of the Military and Police is not the ASG but the corrupt government officials sending them to death in the jungle of Basilan and Sulu. If the Military and Police have the taget to shoot to, it should be those crocodiles in the government. Till when the Filipinos would suffer under the rule of the corrupt and savage government officials. Elimination of the criminals is not new pronouncement. Every time there is kidnapping and beheading everybody would shout to the tip of their voices, eliminate the coward criminals. But the result is always the other way around. Instead of seeing the enemies pin down into the ground it is the pity and unfortunate Military and Police officers paraded around the street in caskets. We need president with hands of fury to lead the country and not the one who made promise with unproven good leadership like Roxas and Poe.

  3. everytime the gov’t declare the asg as a spent force, the group kidnaps people, foreigners or filipinos. and yet the gov’t despite sending battalions of soldiers and pnp force, the group still survives with lots of money to spend or partake with their local protectors.

  4. Ang mga na wipe out ay mga Sundalo, Pulis at innocenteng civilian at Noynoying si CIC!

    1. Year 2011-19 Army soldiers Special Forces KIA/Some Beheaded by Abusayaff/MILF, AL BARKA BASILAN.
    2. Year 2015-44 PNPSAF Massacred by MILF, BIFF, PAGs Mamasapano.
    3. Year 2016-18 Army Soldiers 44IB Ambushed KIA/some beheaded by Abusayaff AL BARKA BASILAN.
    4. Year 2016- A Canadian Citizen Killed/Beheaded by Abusayaff.

    • The Abu Sayyaf Group is a joke, they are lead by blind faith based on ignorance about Islam. They are a stain on Islam and what the religion represents.

  5. Yes it’s what they have been telling us ever since. And every time they make a move they still have to coordinate with the milf? Damn this must be the stupidest I have ever heard. This govt lately have been buying attack helicopters, fighter jets, gun boats you name it and it seems pang porma lang naman ang labas. Is the govt just fighting a war and not win it?

  6. Guillermo Hernadez on

    Your prayer for the AFP to get rid of the Abu Sayab ( and other insurgents
    like the NPA,MILF and MNLF ) will probably remain unanswered. Why ?
    Did you not observe that they ( AFP and insurgents ) are in a symbiotic relationship…..
    …… ” I will scratch your back and you will scratch mine ”

    Our military sells their M16s, ammos and other supplies to the rebels and the rebels
    share their ransom proceeds with the generals…..quid pro quo . They in effect like
    trading partners. Every once in while they skirmish with each other…and kill a few
    soldiers or insurgents….. Most of the time they peacefully co-exist with each other.
    How long has the NPA been around . Since the 1950s ! How about the MILF and
    the MNLF ? Almost forever !

    Pray harder !