Friday, April 5, 2019

Troops told to 'relentlessly' pursue ASG bandits in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 5, 2019): Troops told to 'relentlessly' pursue ASG bandits in Sulu

Government troops pursuing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu province should "relentlessly" hunt down the terrorist group and ultimately defeat them.

This was the directive given by Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) deputy commander for operations, as he set foot on the battlegrounds last Tuesday to check the ongoing offensives and conditions of the operations troops in Sulu.

“I enjoin you to remain committed and resilient to defeat the adversary. Bear in mind that, as soldiers, we must perform our sworn duty with dedication, courage, and integrity,” Ponio told the troops.

“Let us defeat the Abu Sayyaf and continue to secure the area against all those who spoil peace in Sulu,” he added.

During his visit, Ponio inspected the weapons seized by the military in separate clashes against the ASG bandits.

Among the weapons he inspected were a mortar tube, two M-16 Armalite rifles, and a handheld radio transceiver seized by the troops of the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion following a clash in Barangay Bakong, Patikul on March 26.

Accompanied by Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, Ponio also visited marine troops on Simisa Island, Banguingui town, and inspected four firearms seized by the troops following the spate of clashes with the ASG bandits.

The task force launched massive offensives against the ASG bandits on Simisa Island since January 1.

The series of offensives in the island resulted in the death of six ASG bandits and the recovery of four high-powered firearms -- an R4 rifle, an M1 Carbine rifle, an M16A1 rifle, and a caliber .45 pistol.

Ponio also visited the tactical command post of the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade in Bud Datu, Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu.

He was given operational updates by military officers during his visit to Bud Datu.

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