The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that the offensive against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands in Basilan province has “no time frame.”
This was announced by Gen. Hernando Delfin Carmelo Iriberri, AFP chief-of-staff, during his visit on Sunday to the soldiers who were wounded in the 10-hour fire fight against the ASG brigands on Saturday in Basilan.
Iriberri said they are not giving any time frame as the military operations will continue without let up “as we seek the withdrawing bandits and hold them accountable for their crimes.”
The target of the continued military operation are the groups ASG leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Furuji Indama, whose were involved in several atrocities.
“We are dictated by our mission, not by time,” Iriberri added.
Five ASG brigands, including a Moroccan national, were killed while 20 others were wounded in the fire fight that took place on Saturday in Sitio Bayoko, Barangay Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.
The slain Moroccan national was identified as Mohammad Khattab and the other slain ASG brigand was Ubaida Hapilon, the son of Isnilon.
Eighteen soldiers were killed while 56 others were wounded during the clash.
Iriberri visited the troops together with National Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and other top military officials.