Senators want all-out war, death vs. Abu Sayyaf
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is urging President Rodrigo Duterte to declare an all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“All out na!” Sotto said in a text message on Monday when sought for comment on the ASG’s beheading of a kidnapped soldier in Sulu.
“I think they are testing the patience of the President. Matagal nang terror group ‘yun,” he said, “I hope the President declared an all-out war on them. Wipeout!”
For Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, the ASG was one “compelling reason” for the reimposition of the death penalty in the country.
“I support the instructions of the President to capture them dead or alive. Like I said before, if there is one compelling reason for the death penalty, it is for the Abu Sayyaf,” Recto, who has been against the death penalty, said in a separate text message.
Senator Panfilo Lacson proposed the creation of a composite tactical force, which would only focus on crushing the bandit group.
Lacson said the composite team should be composed of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and even the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“Relentless offensive on all fronts just like what the AFP is doing now, but with more emphasis on efficient, well-coordinated intelligence work, both involving human and technical intelligence,” he said in a separate text message.
“One composite tactical force of AFP, PNP and even NBI teams should be solely dedicated to focus only against Abu Sayyaf who will do nothing except eat Abu Sayyaf in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We have enough trained and experienced people both in the AFP and PNP who can handle the job and accomplish the mission of neutralizing that group sooner than we can expect,” added the senator, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
Lacson also headed the PNP during the time of then president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. JE/rga
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