AFP: No rest for Abus

Operations to continue despite All Saints’ Day


No rest for the wicked—and the weary—on All Saints’ Day.

The military said there would be no letup in its offensive against outlaws in Mindanao, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) regional terror network.

“For the whole Philippines, our law enforcement operations with the Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue despite the All Saints’ Day break,” said Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In a briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, he said government troops were now clearing an area in Indanan, Sulu provinces, that had been the subject of aerial bombings and ground assaults, in which three suspected rebels were killed.

Burgos said the AFP, with the help of PNP scene-of-the-crime operatives, were verifying the identities of the three men, who died wearing camouflage uniform, especially if any of them were being hunted by the troops.

But Brig. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo, commander of Task Force Sulu, said five were killed in the operation and identified the fatalities as ASG subleaders Ben Wagas and Apo Mike, and Abu Abad, Sali Madarang and another known only as Andag.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said Marine soldiers who conducted ground operations following the bomb run recovered firearms, assorted military uniforms, civilian bags and laminated sacks.

Octavio Dinampo, a member of Bantay Ceasefire, said the aerial bombing was “flawless” and there was no civilian casualty reported by his people on the ground.

“Unfortunately, the top guns were able to scamper for safety, leaving behind their cows and other belongings,” he said.


The AFP earlier said its target in Indanan was Akmadul Jumdail, alias Doc Abu, who is wanted for his involvement in the beheading of troops, and JI members Marwan, a US-trained Malaysian bomber with a $5-million bounty, and Mauwiyah.

Burgos said it was possible that there could be a high-value target in Indanan.

“This is a known ASG lair, and we would not have conducted aerial bombings if we were not positive that this was an ASG lair. The corpses were in uniform and we recovered several personal belongings that might give clues about the occupants of the lair,” he said.

Asked if the military was bracing for retaliatory attacks, Burgos said: “Our security forces are proactive. The AFP and PNP are in constant coordination in terms of not only operation but in preventing any retaliatory attacks.”

“We know we must be a step ahead, so the most important thing is to have good intelligence,” Burgos said.

He said the lawless elements were now “on the run,” and that being scattered forces, they would take some time to regroup.

Operations elsewhere

While government forces were clearing and mopping up in Indanan, Burgos said other troops were conducting continuous operations in other areas in Mindanao to gather information about the outlaws and hunt them down.

He said he could not reveal operational details.

Asked about reports of an impending military attack in Al-Barka town in Basilan province, site of the Oct. 18 encounter with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) renegades that left 19 Army soldiers dead, Burgos said the information was sensitive.

“First of all, there’s a ceasefire mechanism. We will not just enter the area without coordination. There’s always coordination,” he said. No military action would be made on MILF communities without prior consultation with the peace panel, Burgos added.

Quoting a report from Abu Majid, MILF Basilan provincial political officer, Von al Haq, MILF spokesperson, said the military was preparing to launch offensives against MILF positions and had been deploying more troops in the island-province.

“If that happens, it will surely affect the peace process and our forces there will defend their positions with their blood,” he said.

All out-justice

The 19 soldiers killed in Al-Barka were said to be on their way to serve a warrant against an MILF commander wanted for the 2007 beheadings and mutilation of Marine troops in Al-Barka. But a government-led investigation blamed that incident on the ASG.

In Davao City, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Southern Mindanao, assailed President Aquino’s “all-out justice” policy as “all-out war against the Bangsamoro people.”

“The peace rhetoric of P-Noy could not conceal the militarist nature of such a declaration. Then again, thousands of civilians, including women and children, will be subject to forcible displacement, death and trauma—where is justice in this?” Franchie Buhayan, Bayan regional secretary general, said.

More than 30,000 people have fled clashes in Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan. With reports from Edwin Fernandez and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao

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  • Anonymous

    If that happens, it will surely affect the peace process and our forces there will defend their positions with their blood,”  Von al Haq, MILF spokesperson was quoted. OKAY– so if the MILF are  HONESTLY dealing with the government about the peace process– why don’t they serve the warrant against their renegade member  ” MILF commander wanted for the 2007 beheadings and mutilation of Marine troops in Al-Barka.“?
    Trobol is– MILF is speaking on both sides of their mouth speaking with forked tongue!

  • Anonymous

    Bakit ABU lang?? Isama na diyan ang MILF, Bangsa Moro Army, NPA, MNLF pati yung mag-asawang LAGOT, ehek, LIGOT pala!!

  • Anonymous

    We want real results, meaning ABU and MILF casualties or captured combatants and not a phantom victory that only our military commanders can see.

  • Mind Lumayag

    Von Al Haq seems to be lost in these issues, all his comrades are aware of this impending attack by the government because of what these so called lawless criminals did in Al Barka, and yet he is insisting that it’s the regular MILF forces that are being targeted by the military. Von Al Haq is always giving provocative statements everytime a major operations are to be conducted by the military. They cannot afford to surrender their men to the government because the crime they commited are actualy tolerated by the whole organization. 

  • Anonymous

    The problems of pursuit is not only because of the topograhical location but also the fact that “coordinating” with the peace panel of the MILF, timelines of the operations have been compromised! Ever wonder why rebels that are on taget were able to escape all the time?  Just stop for a moment and contemplate the “whys” of failure to capture or kill those responsible for the ambush of our soldiers.  It is so obvious, somebody is warning them about an impending pursuit operations against them.

    Death of civilians as well as destructions of property, loss of livelihood, displacements, etc. are an inescapable reality.  It is part of the mechanics of “war” that some may die and properties destoyed in the pursuit of peace!

  • Ben

    Nothing`s new, just a cycle. We are so predictably a “knee jerk reactionary”, something will jolt the peace and order and the expected response is? When there are peace, why can`t this government keep the pressure? Once this is over, the threat remains like a time bomb ready to explode in any time, unless continued operation to dismatle the grouping will be pursued in combination with economic min-marshall plan that was planned 20 years ago afte a major displacement of the area due to the government`s major offensive….now this is just a vicious cycle that will not stop unless the root cause of the problem has been focused at….infrastructures, education without favoring any religios even the major Catholic institution must not prevail in influencing government affairs in order to show to the muslims that the government is neutral,  more government police and troops to manage mindanao and initially more investments by the government in industires such as factories, farms, transportation etc to give jobs to the conflict areas since Private sectors will not come in, unless the government will show the way.

  • Nelson

    All-out justice?

    The cheer is certainly novel and interesting. The holler is not only admirable but also intriguing. It is some kind of a battle cry for the good, the upright and powerful — categorically telling the bad to stay out of the way or they become wasted by the wayside. To top it all, the proverb was composed and recited by no less than the Chief Executive in the land who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines. At first glance, it sounds that no justice shall be tolerated, much less allowed to prevail. It forwards the ready understanding that justice shall be the omnipresent rule that the days of the unjust are over.

    It is however but right and proper not only to contextualize the sudden invocation of the surprising mantra “all-out justice,” but also to know more what it means, what is it covered and applies to.
    Needless to say, there is great bravery, admirable resolve and nationalist spirit behind the presidential song that immediately caught both the attention and surprise of a good number of people.
    From a funny little puppy, there suddenly came out a formidable lion roaring loud and angry. “All-out war” — no! “All-out justice” – yes! The latter impressive and endearing phenomenal shout could have been left alone — and wherefore also simple leave the people rejoicing and celebrating. But then, candid and simple questions began to be asked here and there — questions that at first glance appear irrelevant but in fact demand clear and forthright answers.

    Question: Is “All-out justice” applicable but to this and those little sections in Mindanao and occasioned only by the recent killings of admittedly brave soldiers and civilians alike perpetrated in many places in Luzon and the Visayas, as a matter of course?

    Does it mean that “all-out justice” is only limited in observance and scope, whereby all other atrocities
    perpetrated in other regions in the country are held merely technical and academic?

    Question: Is “all-out justice” irrelevant to extra-judicial killings, to women violated, to children abused as well as the fetus aborted all over Metro Manila and usually thrown or dumped here and there? Furthermore, is “all-out justice” nonsense for those killed and incapacitated in the Mendiola Massacre, not to mention the
    long standing victims of the Hacienda Luisita injustice?

    “Justice is anything but “all-out” when it is frivolous, discriminatory, selective.

  • smokey

    Good on you. Follow them until the end of the earth.

  • Anonymous

    Eto na naman ang BAYAN.  Basta me operasyon laban sa mga rebelde at katulad nila,  nauuna sa pagtuligsa sa gobyerno.  Ano pala ang gagawin ng gobyerno sa MILF na ayaw isuko ang mga kriminal nilang kumander.  Kailangan mahuli at panagutin sa kanilang mga krimen sila sa anuman pamamaraan.  Dun lang maipapakita ng gobyerno na sinsero sila sa pagprotekta sa mabuting mamamayan.

  • Jorrel Quilalang

    Government: Give us the MILF Commander!
    MILF: No. We won’t give our brother to the enemy.
    Government: Okay, we attack the ASG!


  • Anonymous

    Generals? How would you quantify your relentless pursuits and bomb run in Mindanao? So far you have only the poor numbers of casualty in the enemies side and you’ve been there for more than a week. When can you at least even the score at 33 Abu Sayyaf and JI elements?

  • Anonymous

    Let the AFP move their headquarters to Basilan.  The PMA campus also so the cadets and future officers of the AFP will be familiar with the terrain.

  • be honest

    Since  ALL  OUT  JUSTICE  is to hunt down criminals, I just ask a simple but effective question.
    Can the government consolidate a list of all those criminals, with warrant of arrest, with conviction, escapees etc. and forward to MILF ? 
    Give them 3 days to reply if they can locate and surrender those criminals on the list.
    Yes or no ?

  • Anonymous

    “Unfortunately, the top guns were able to scamper for safety, leaving behind their cows and other belongings”. Sure the coordination with the MILF did it. Where is the element of surprise, the Holly Grail of military strategy? If the “all out justice” operation is being conducted against the lawless elements, why coordinate with the MILF? If the subjects are somehow hiding inside the MILF’s area that makes them all the target. Harboring lawless elements. Is the PH government blinking here first? Might as well capitulate and let them rule us. We, as Christians and other religions are forgiving people, turning the other cheek when slapped, throwing bread in return when stoned, actually love our enemies and hate our friends(?), know how to coexist. Why the f*** not? Salaam Allaecum!

    • Jose Hernani Parco

      “wa aleikhum salaam”!

  • Anonymous

    General, let your guns and cannons do the talking for a while. We want results.

  • Jose Hernani Parco

    give them WAR they will never forget!

  • Anonymous

    The killing of 19 soldiers blamed on Abu Sayyaf? Always looking for scapegoat. 

    It is clear, the killing done by MILF. Run after the MILF.

    Like Bush blamed Osama Bin Laden of WTC bombing, but he invaded Afghanistan. What is the logic behind that?

    • Pepe Smith

      Dummy, because Osama ben-Laden was hiding in Afghanistan, that’s the logic.

  • Anonymous

    As I said before, Intelligence units must work round the clock operations with them are Sniper Units equipped with high frequency radio and high powered semi-automatic rifles with a scope and range of 1000 yards. These units must know how to use jungle fighting and survival techniques. They should be able to cover themselves day in day out in camouflage. Take them down one-by-one once they (MILF) are identified by the intelligence. The use of high frequency radio with an ear piece/speaker is necessary in this operation so that they know each other locations and know what they are doing. The deployed Intel and Snipers must have a back up Marines in case of an intense fire fighting…

  • Brando

    Pumasok  na naman ang Bayan ni Casino. Hahaha! And sarap buhay nila sa congreso, may pork na, congressman pa. Walang ginawa kung hindi sirahin ang gobiyerno kahit sino pa man ang presidente. Because of what they do, the Filipino taxpayers are paying them with millions of pesos (salary + pork). Bakit ba naman kasi may sectoral representatives pa. Di na sila kailangan. Lahat naman ng sectors of society ay meron sa lahat na congressional districts. At kung ako ang masunod, 1 province, 1 congressman lang tayo. At 15 ang senador because we have 15 regions. This so that we can save a lot of money pampasueldo ng maraming lawmakers and their staff.

  • shane oy

    Teka ASG, MILF, Lawless elements, i think they all refer to the same persons.

  • Anonymous

    Really? Are you really prepared for a long drawn out war? Are you prepared that even if you wipe out the ASGs but do not address the religious division that have been created, they will be back again?

    Unless you are ready for a very long, sustained campaign, I might agree. Otherwise, it would be just like what happened in the past and as they call it – ningas cogon, I hope it won’t be this time.

  • yeoj

    Pnoy Government Gives 5 Million to the Enemy of the State (MILF) – Act of Treason…..
    Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility (playing psp while smoking in office), integrity(anak ng hero), loyalty(KKK), and efficiency(no bills passed as Congressman and Senator), act with patriotism (give 5Million to Enemy of the State) and justice (blame the AFP for ambush), and lead modest lives (sports car addict).
    Silence, in those situations is equivalent to saying “all is well” or that we are “okay” with what is going on.  If we do not acknowledge the wrong in the world, then it is like we are “accepting” and thus limit the chances that the situation will change for the better.

  • Pepe Smith

    No let up guys, don’t let them regroup, rearm and reposition because they know the terrain. Use all your bomb if you have to just ot eliminate those bandits pretending to be rebels.

  • Dana

    So, what BAYAN wants the gov’t. to do? Just let this criminal elements spread its wings?  What has BAYAN done so far?  The reason criminality is uncontrollable in these areas in the south is that, illiteracy is so high. the ineffective and most of the time absence of law enforcement. Criminals and rebels and politicians and some police  were all related by blood.     

  • Datu Puti

    Aerial bombings, ground assault and with the help of snipers within the area will give them headache and difficult to regroup. The problem is that there is still a group that will hinder or considered as barrier in the on going military operation that is the leftist group sitting in the congress…..They are always barking without giving any help to the government to solve the problem.   

  • manuel

    Abu Sayyaf Group, renegade or lost command MILF, they are all MILF who alway take advantage of the initiative to launch a surprise attack and atrocities.  Talking Peace and killing are of the same context that they mastered the art of psychological warfare, thereby killing soldiers and civilians, displacing countless refugees and blaming the AFP, if a pursuit operation is launch against them.  Where these ASG and terrorist group operate is within the contested area close to the ATS, or safe haven of the MILF.  A running gun battle will draw their MILF comrade as a reserve force to overwhelm  the pursuer. 

     Bayan Davao, Franchie Buhayan,  what kind of peace are you talking about when these terrorist are not only committing kidnapping for ransom, banditry, killing of civilians and soldiers.  The MILF, is a terrorist group and don’t think for a moment that the separatist agenda they have can achieve through atrocities. Talking of Peace, is hypocritical as long as the kiling and atrocities continue.  Sounds like you have the cojones to peacefully settle this, why not bring down those responsible?  What the MILF, have done is an act of War.  Yu may be a bleeding heart liberal, but until the combatants lay down their arms, there will no peace.  The choice is up to the people of Basilan, who support the MILF.

  • Anonymous

    dapat tanungin din ang BAYAN ng ano ang ginawa ninyo ng binarubal ng tsina ang teritoryo ng pilipinas

  • simon

    penoy cant solve this alone, the afp can hinder the some of the disorder for a time but cant solve the problem. the best thing to do is to expose their evil work. the lawless elements is the arm of the milf to raise funding ( kidnap for ramson) while their priest (imam) is sowing the doctrine of the devil (to kill the infidels) while their political leaders is the one pursuing the peace talk, while their armed milf is recreuting the civilian support. i think our clergymen should help the government to fight the milf by telling the whole world (by print media, television, radio, enternet etc,etc,) that their doctrine to kill the infidel is the doctrine of demon. why? because life is sacred, and comes from God, it is borrowed from God, if you murder, you are accountable to God.

  • Vito Corleone

    Malapit na ang Hajj Holiday, hihingi na naman nang Cease fire yang mga yan… ingat kayo.

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