• Offensive vs Abu Sayyaf to continue


    FOLLOWING the release of one Norwegian and three Indonesian hostages, the military on Sunday vowed to maintain intense pressure on the Abu Sayyaf terrorist and kidnap group to force it to free other captives.

    Gen. Ricardo Visaya, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the military would be unrelenting in its operations against the bandit group.

    “We will continue to forge the support and cooperation of the local residents who will ultimately benefit from the success of these operations,” he said.

    Maj. Felimon Tan, spokesman of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, claimed that relentless land, sea and air operations forced the Abu Sayyaf to free Norwegian kidnap victim Kjartan Sekkingstad.

    The Naval Commander Amphibious Task Group conducted raids at the islands of Pata and Kalinggalang Caluang in Sulu, resulting in the confiscation of 15 unregistered motorized boats, Tan said.

    A boat was also seized by the Philippine National Police in Parang, Sulu. The boat was believed to have been used by Abu Sayyaf member Alhabsy Misaya, who was said to have been responsible for kidnapping Indonesian and Malaysian tugboat crews in the high seas in the past months.

    Commenting on reports that ransom money went to the kidnappers, Arevalo said: “We have not received such information [on ransom]although we can always validate that on the ground. Maybe it is not that apparent to the public the effect, or how the intensity of the unrelenting conduct of operations really falls on the Abu Sayyaf Group.”

    Brig. Gen. Arnel de la Vega, commander of the AFP Joint Task Force Sulu, claimed the Abu Sayyaf was forced to release Sekkingstad because his presence “slows them down” and releasing him would allow the kidnap group to evade soldiers.

    Sekkingstad was kidnapped along with Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall and Maritess Flor, a Filipina, in September last year in a resort at Samal Island in Davao del Norte province.

    Ridsdel and Hall were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf supposedly after no ransom money was paid. Flor was released by the group in June.


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    1. Michael Richardson on

      The US Government did not know for years where Bin Laden was hiding but they still got him in an ‘extra judicial’ killing. The PH government know exactly where the Abu Sayaff rats are hiding, but years pass and they still cannot get them. They are always one step ahead – amazing! If a similar group had been operating in Nazi Germany during WW2, Hitler would have destroyed them in a couple of weeks. “Vee have Vays of making you talk” I don’t condone the Nazis but I am making a point. Ridding the country of these terrorists is doable in theory – there should be a serious debate about whether the end justifies the means and if it doesn’t then people should be made to live with it.

    2. I will remind you again General Visaya, most of you graduated in a military academy. We suppose you studied the strategy and tactics of war. If NOT, please, tell the public. Your action is below par. CAFGU’s or Private Armies can do even far better. Give us a brilliant move that comes from from someone who studied warfare. We want BODY COUNTS of the Abu Sayyaf killed. And we expect that it comes from a brilliant tactics initiated by the armed forces. In this way Filipinos will feel safe that you can protect the whole Philippine archipelago. BRILLIANCY MOVE, PLEASE!