MANILA –Military operations aimed at recovering the remaining 32 hostages being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists will continue despite the brutal beheading of German captive Juergen Kantner last February 26.
This was the assurance given by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said in a interview Tuesday afternoon.
“We have ongoing operations now in Basilan and Sulu, and (Tawi-Tawi) we will continue until we are able to rescue the remaining hostages and prevent future kidnappings,” he stressed.
An AFP estimate places the number of ASG hostages in the hands of the terrorists at 32.
This can be broken down into 27 foreigners and seven Filipinos.
“We sympathize with the family of Mr. Kantner but of course this would even make our (troops) more committed to pursue these perpetrators in order to bring them to justice,” the AFP chief added.
Año said he expects the military to get the upperhand in the campaign against the ASG once the AFP gets more equipment that will boosts its capabilities in maritime security as it will help them in preventing attacks against passing merchant ships and isolated coastal areas.