Ending Mindanao terrorism should be part of debate agenda–Recto
Ending terrorism in Mindanao should be included on the agenda for the third and last presidential debate in Pangasinan on April 24, a senator said Sunday.
Sen. Ralph Recto issued the statement after at least 18 soldiers and nearly three dozen other government troops were wounded during nearly 10 hours of heavy clash with Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan.
“Finishing off the Abu Sayyaf is this president’s last job and the next president’s first,” Recto said in statement.”
“They have bedeviled four presidencies and, if not stopped, [are] on track to confront the fifth Malacañang occupant in their almost quarter-of-a-century of mayhem and violence,” he added.
He said “next presidential debate should include a question on how to end Abu Sayyaf’s terrorism and stop their expansion as an ISIS franchisee.”
“What is clear is that ending their terror has become an important part of the job description of the next president,” he said.
Recto cited the recent kidnappings, which include foreign nationals and even dignitaries.
“They must be stopped. We know the lessons of the past: Ransom payments fuel more kidnappings and finance more terror activities,” he said.
“We commend the bravery of our fallen soldiers. We condole with their loved ones, but above all, let us assure them that justice will be served soon,” he added. CDG
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