Armed Forces chief hopes to finish off Abu Sayyaf before his Dec 8 retirement
The head of the Philippine military is hoping to finish off the Abu Sayyaf before he retires on December 8, the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Wednesday.
“December 8 is not really a deadline imposed by the president, it is a deadline, quote unquote, deadline that he gave himself, Dec. 8 being his date of compulsory retirement having reached the age of 56, we still have period between now and Dec. 8 so we still, he is still into it,” Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters.
“He is personally monitoring the developments. he is receiving briefings as regards the development on the ground and he is still optimistic that he will be able to beat the, he will be able to complete what he wanted to do before the end of his term,” Arevalo added.
Although the Abu Sayyaf continued with their kidnapping activities despite intensified military operations, Arevalo said a “significant number” were neutralized since the term of the new administration started last July.
There are around eight battalions in Sulu where the Abu Sayyaf are keeping around 15 hostages, the latest of whom is a German who was abducted from his yacht last Sunday.
The military has recorded a total of 70 ASG members were killed in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan from July up to the end of October.
A total of 19 Abu Sayyaf members were wounded and 30 captured in operation in Sulu while three were injured, 34 surrendered and two apprehended in Basilan. Robina Asido/DMS