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9月24日のまにら新聞から

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) rejected a request of founding Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari to suspend military operation against the Abu Sayyaf while he negotiating for the release of the remaining hostages.

[ 291 words|2016.9.24|英字 (English) ]

In a radio interview, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla emphasized it is important to continue combat operation against the ASG.

“We did not agree,” Padilla said, referring to the request of Misuari.

“It is important to continue the operation. It happened before that such request caused their escape,” he added.

There are 15 hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf: five Indonesians, five Malaysians, one Dutchman and four Filipinos.

But Padilla said the military may suspend their operation to give way for possible release of the hostages to the government like during the transfer of Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian kidnap victim who was freed last Saturday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained the military will only suspend its operations in areas where negotiation is going on.

“The request of Chairman Misuari was relayed by (Presidential Adviser for Peace Process) Secretary Jesus Dureza, and he told it to us last Sunday after Sekkingstad was released,” he said.

“He told me Nur Misuari is requesting if you can suspend the operation to continue the negotiation, I said I cannot do that because the ASG may have breathing space, I told him that if they have negotiations in a specific location for example in a sitio or barangay that is where I can stop specifically but not in the whole Jolo, Basilan or Tawi-tawi,” he added.

Lorenzana said instructed the head of a military task force to decide if there is a need to suspend operation.

“I also instructed the commander on the ground, Task Force Jolo Gen. (Arnel) De la Vega for him to decide on the matter but we are not allowing you to stop the operation all over the area but localized, only if there is an ongoing negotiation,” Lorenzana said. Robina Asido