Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Incoming AFP chief eyes non-stop ops vs Abu Sayyaf

From Malaya Business Insight (Jun 29): Incoming AFP chief eyes non-stop ops vs Abu Sayyaf

INCOMING Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya yesterday vowed to implement non-stop operations against the Abu Sayyaf group after he assumes the top military post on Friday.
“As far as I am concerned, I will fight them 24/7,” Visaya said in an ambush interview in Camp Aguinaldo, referring to the Abu Sayyaf which is notorious for kidnappings, beheadings, and bombings.

Visaya said the focus of the military operations will be Sulu where the Abu Sayyaf is keeping several foreign and Filipino hostages, including Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Dutchman Ewold Horn.
Visaya, the outgoing commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command, will assume the post of AFP chief on Friday afternoon in rites to be presided by Rodrigo Duterte who is due to be sworn in as president tomorrow.

‘”We would like to defeat them the fastest way and that can be the best option – to fight them (24/7),” Visaya said. “I would like to fight them 24 hours a day… I don’t want to give timelines but we will do our best,” he said.

Visaya said the military has sufficient forces in the Abu Sayyaf’s bailiwick provinces of Sulu and Basilan. He said more military equipment will be sent to these areas as part of the military’s thrust to defeat the Abu Sayyaf.

Visaya said there are now 11 battalions deployed to fight the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu and four battalions in Basilan. A battalion is composed of about 500 officers and men.

“The problem in Basilan now is not that serious as compared to Jolo (town in Sulu) so our focus will be in Jolo,” said Visaya, an Army Scout Ranger officer who once served as a brigade commander in Basilan.

Visaya said he plans to visit Sulu shortly after he assumes the top military post to supervise the offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.

Military estimates place the strength of the group  at 300 to 400 men.

“I have to visit the different branches of service, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army and then attend to some functions here (in Camp Aguinaldo) and then I will go to Jolo,” the incoming military chief said.

Duterte last week vowed to crush the Abu Sayyaf which recently beheaded two Canadians they kidnapped from Davao del Norte in September last year, along with Sekkingstad and Marites Flor who was released last Friday.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.