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No Holy Week break for terrorists

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Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

There will be no letup in military and police operations nationwide against all “enemies of the state,” particularly the terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), as the country observes Holy Week, according to Malacañang.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma yesterday said that both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police had been directed by President Aquino to secure the peace between Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday.

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“The AFP and PNP, and even the Philippine Coast Guard, are working together in collaboration with local government units in keeping the peace during Holy Week,” Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told the Inquirer.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang earlier ordered the troops to press the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the BIFF to downgrade their capability to inflict harm on civilians.

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Catapang directed military field commanders in Sulu and Maguindanao provinces to pursue the two groups without letup but to avoid collateral damage involving civilians.

He called for an all-out campaign against the al-Qaida-linked terrorist Abu Sayyaf group and the secessionist BIFF, based in Sulu and Maguindanao, respectively.

Abu losses

The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners and bomb attacks on civilians in Mindanao, has reportedly lost at least 24 members in five days of fighting in Patikul town, Sulu.

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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf bandit group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Holy Week 2015, Mamasapano incident, saf44
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