Finish off Abus this year, soldiers told
Government forces in Sulu have been ordered to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf by the end of the year.
“The chief of staff has given us until December if possible to end the Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping menace,” Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said yesterday, referring to the directive of Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Carlito Galvez.
Galvez presided over a command conference at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City on Wednesday.
Sobejana said Galvez ordered sustained military operations to rescue the remaining hostages and neutralize the kidnappers.
Sobejana said the December timetable is “highly attainable,” citing ground mobility, air and sea assets at their disposal.
“We are looking at a twoyear window to completely wipe out the bandits but we want to fast-track our efforts to end the kidnappings by December,” he said.
Sobejana said an additional battalion from Marawi would be deployed in Sulu to serve as reinforcement.
“The advance party is here, but the main body will be coming later,” Sobejana said.
Ten Army battalions had been earlier deployed in the Sulu to run after Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Several military units have also been placed under the control of the Joint Task Force Sulu to help in the operations.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding around a dozen foreign and local hostages.