Incoming Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya disclosed a plan to launch non-stop, 24/7 operations against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), saying it will be the fastest way to defeat the jihadists.
“We are planning that, to fight the Abu Sayyaf 24/7.We would like to defeat [them]. That’s the fastest way and can be the best option to fight them,” Visaya said on Tuesday.
He said he will formally make the proposal on July 1 when top military officials meet President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in a command conference.
“After the turnover on July 1, there will be a command conference in the presence of our new President, then we will be hearing the guidance of the President, so we will start from there,” according to Visaya.
Told about the option given by Duterte to talk or to fight, he said that is the prerogative of the Commander-in-Chief.
“Sabi ko nga e malalaman natin sa July first yung instruction nya [That is why I said we will know his instructions on July 1] but in so far as I am concerned I will fight them 24/7,” Visaya pointed out.
He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has enough resources and personnel to launch a 24/7 offensive against the militants who recently beheaded two Canadian hostages in Sulu.
The jihadists executed John Ridsdel and Robert Hall on April 25 and June 13, respectively, after the government rejected a total of P600 million in ransom demanded by the terrorist group for the release of the two captives.
Meanwhile, Visaya said he will visit the Air Force, Navy and Army and attend some functions in Manila before flying to Jolo to discuss with military commanders there the AFP’s plan against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Earlier, Visaya disclosed that he may recommend to Duterte the imposition of martial law in Jolo (Sulu) and Basilan in southern Mindanao if the result of the study being conducted by the military deemed it necessary in crushing the ASG.
The jihadists have strongholds in Sulu and Basilan.
Last week, the bandits seized seven Indonesian sailors off the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi.
The group on Friday freed Marites Flor, Hall’s fiancee.
It is still holding several hostages, including a Dutch seized along with the Canadians.