A WESTERN Mindanao Command (Wesmincom)officer said Tuesday, April 4, that military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu will continue during the observance of the Holy Week.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Wesmincom information officer, said the troops will continue to pursue the ASG since they have a deadline to meet to neutralize the bandit group. President Rodrigo Duterte has given the Westmincom six months to neutralize the ASG. The deadline will lapse on June 30, this year.
The focused military operations aimed to rescue the hostages from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Sulu.
There are 28 hostages in the hands of the ASG consisting of 12 Vietnamese, nine Filipinos, seven Indonesians, and one Dutch.
The latest skirmish between the government troops and ASG occurred on Sunday, April 2, that resulted to the death of a bandit and 32 soldiers injured.
The troops also recovered two high-powered firearms the Abu Sayyaf bandits abandoned as they flee from the clash site. Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the operation of his command is being sustained and non-stop.