From the Philippine Star (Jul 21): Troops step up effort vs ASG activities
The military said intensified monitoring and strong coordination with stakeholders will be a potent strategy to subdue the Abu Sayyaf and its cells from staging abductions in the south and borders of Sabah.
Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the strategy will be part of the continuous pursuit operation to pressure the militants who are still separately holding about 10 kidnap victims, including six foreigners, in Sulu.
Guerrero said the intelligence driven operation will keep the militants on the run and will prevent them from staging kidnappings.
Newly installed Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Pio Catapang has revealed that the military is implementing the pre-emptive strategy as a measure against the spate of kidnapping activities of the Abu Sayyaf group.
“That is what we are implementing now based on our previous plans and his (Catapang) current guidance,” Guerrero said following the series of abductions staged by the Abu Sayyaf locally and in the border of Sabah.
Guerrero said there will be changes of their strategy as they pursue the plan to out-maneuver the Abu Sayyaf group that has created cells to operate outside Sulu and transfer all their prospective victims.
He said ground intelligence units are also working closely with their counterpart in the Philippine National Police (PNP) to thwart the militants from conducting kidnapping activities.