MANILA — Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the military remains committed to tracking down and neutralizing known terrorist operatives in the country.
He made this statement in the wake of the bloody Mamasapano, Maguindanao clash which resulted in the death of at least 30 Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force members following a six-hour firefight with members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters Sunday.
“The Maguindanao (operation) is a PNP operation of high-value, as initial reports, they were able to neutralize one of them, ‘Marwan’ (Zulkifli bin Hir) although Basit Usman, managed to escape,” he added.
But Gazmin clarified that they are still confirming the death of Marwan through other sources.
The DND chief also said the government will also do everything in its authority to prevent the terrorists from moving around the country especially the BIFF, who instigated the attack against the SAF.
Gazmin stressed that there was coordination at the tactical level.
He also said military forces in the area were able to help with the extrication when the fighting with the MILF, BIFF turned hot, belying reports that the SAF men were left on their own.