From the Manila Times (May 9): Military operation vs ASG continues
COMBAT operation against members of the al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) will not be affected by the military’s security preparations for the May 9 elections, according to a military spokesman.
“We will not give them [ASG terrorists] any reason or chance to score points or escape, our troops will not stop in running after them,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman on Monday said during a joint police and military news briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padillla explained that they have a separate unit that is in charge in pursuing the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
“We have enough forces that are in charge of manning security during the electoral process,” Padilla said.
The AFP spokesman added that military personnel have been tapped to serve in the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in conflict-torn areas, such as Basilan and Sulu provinces, known havens of the ASG terrorists.
PNP personnel, according to Padilla, are “mostly tapped for support role” to the BEIs.