Duterte lauds troops in operation that killed 7 Abu Sayyaf bandits
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the Western Mindanao Command after seven suspected Abu Sayyaf members were killed following an encounter last week in Parang town, Sulu.
“These men were reportedly en route to conduct a kidnapping operation in Surigao province. Despite unfavorable conditions, our troops from the [Western Mindanao Command-Joint Task Force Sulu] bravely undertook air and sea interdiction operations that led to this victory,” Duterte said in a speech as seen in a video posted Tuesday by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
“As your commander in chief, I commend and salute you for your gallantry, your vigilance and commitment in defeating these terrorists and ensuring the safety and security of our nation, which is really truly inspiring,” he added.
Duterte also reiterated the his administration’s support to state forces in ensuring the security of the country.
“Be assured in this administration’s unwavering support to the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and the police also, through programs that will further improve your capacity to respond to the security needs of the country,” Duterte said.
Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said among those killed in the Nov. 3 encounter was Madsmar Sawadjaan, brother of Mundi Sawadjaan who masterminded the twin bombings in Jolo in August.
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