Incoming AFP chief wants to fight Abu Sayyaf 24/7
Incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya said he is ready to implement a plan to fight the Abu Sayyaf 24/7.
“We are planning for that, to fight the Abu Sayyaf 24/7,” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in an ambush interview on Tuesday.
Visaya’s statement comes despite the reported openness of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to hold a dialogue with the Abu Sayyaf.
“That is the prerogative of the President. So sabi ko nga eh malalaman natin sa July 1 yung instruction niya (So as I said, we would know his instruction on July 1) but in so far as I am concerned I will fight them 24/7,” he said.
The Abu Sayyaf is known for its terror and kidnap-for-ransom activities in Sulu. They beheaded two Canadians this year after ransom was not paid. They are still holding several hostages, including Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad.
They also abducted seven Indonesian nationals in the Sulu Sea last week.
Visaya is to assume the post of AFP chief on Friday, a day after Duterte takes over as President.
The incoming AFP chief, who plans to visit Jolo as soon as he takes over, said there are 11 battalions deployed there to battle with the Abu Sayyaf. RAM/rga
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