De Lima airs sympathy for soldiers, cop killed in Bohol firefight
Senator Leila de Lima on Black Saturday expressed sympathy for the soldiers and the police officer killed fighting Abu Sayyaf bandits in Inabanga, Bohol, starting Tuesday.
It was the first known attempt of the bandit group to attack Bohol in a failed bid to carry out kidnappings. The daylong firefight in Sitio Ilaya left six suspected Abu Sayyaf members, three soldiers, and one policeman dead.
“I join the nation in expressing sympathies with the family and loved ones of the uniformed personnel—3 soldiers and 1 policeman—who perished during a firefight with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol,” De Lima wrote Thursday from her detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Quezon City.
“I also laud the military for neutralizing a notorious leader of the ASG believed to be responsible for atrocities, including beheading of foreigners. Let the full force of the law be cast upon the rest of the these lawless and ruthless elements,” she added in the letter released Saturday.
Muammar Askali, identified as the leader of the bandit group and who was directly involved in the kidnapping and beheading of Canadian and German nationals, was one of six Abu Sayyaf bandits killed.
“I am in solidarity with, and give honor to, the Armed Forces of the Philippines in protecting our peace and preserving our freedom,” De Lima said.
The senator has been charged and detained for alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade when she was still Justice Secretary but she has repeatedly denied the allegation. CBB