Abu Sayyaf member killed, three soldiers injured as military tries to rescue kidnap victims
A member of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was killed while three soldiers were wounded in an encounter in Sulu last Tuesday as the military tried to rescue kidnap victims, including two policewomen, an official said Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu commander, said the troops encountered an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf members in the vicinity of Brgy Mauboh, Talipao around 3pm.
Sobejana said the troops were conducting rescue operations for the Abu Sayyaf kidnap victims. He said the firefight lasted for 15 minutes.
Sobejana said he is discouraging paying ransom amid the five million pesos demanded by terrorists for the release of two policewomen.
“We are discouraging them, and to trust us in our effort to rescue them safely, now considering that we also need partners here, we also coordinate with the local government unit and even the religious sector to convince the abductors to release their victims,” he said.
Sobejana emphasized the danger of giving in to the demands of the terrorist group.
“They were able to buy new weapons, and needs, because now they are running short of logistics... we really work hard to make sure no supplies would be able to enter because based on revelations that is one of the reason why the Abu Sayyaf Group surrenders,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS