MANILA – Upon his assumption as the next Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff this July 1, outgoing Southern Luzon Command head Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya pledged to implement a “24/7 fight” in order to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) threat in Basilan and Sulu.
“We are planning to fight the ASG 24/7. We would like to defeat the ASG the fastest way, that can be the best option to (defeat) them,” he added.
The terrorist group landed in the limelight again after it kidnapped seven Indonesian sailors in the Sulu Sea last June 22, eight days after it beheaded Canadian hostage Robert Hall in Sulu.
Visaya added that the AFP has more than enough resources for his proposed “24/7 fight” against the bandits as the military has 11 battalions deployed in Sulu alone hunting these terrorists.
“There will be some procurements, and there will be realignment of resources also,” he stressed.
But he declined to give an exact timetable on how this proposed offensive will defeat the ASG.
The incoming AFP chief also stressed that civilian support and cooperation is needed in addressing the ASG threat.
“We have than enough forces to match them but they are very hard to locate in the ground, so it essential for civilians to cooperate,” he added.