MANILA—Focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) will continue despite the Abu Sayyaf Group’s (ASG) brutal beheading of one of their Filipino captives in Patikul town, Sulu on April 13.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a statement Monday also expressed the military’s anger and indignation against the latest atrocity perpetuated by the bandit group.
“The AFP expresses its extreme indignation for the beheading of a kidnap-for-ransom victim Mr. Noel Besconde by ASG sub-leader (Hatib) Sadjawaan on 13 April 2017 in the vicinity Barangay Tugas in Patikul, Sulu,” he said.
Besconde was one of four members of the crew of F/B Ramona who were abducted somewhere in Celebes Sea in December 2016.
As of this posting, around 27 hostages are still being held by the bandits.
Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana believes Besconde was murdered by his ASG captors because he was reportedly ill thus, impedes their movement to evade the operating units that are hunting them.
“While the AFP condemns this gruesome murder of this hapless kidnap victim, it all the more drives our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines to deliver the lethal blow against this band of terrorists and rescue the remaining kidnap victims,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said.
“This terrorist group are all the more, by their recent barbarism, fueling the desire of the AFP to crush their beastly practice, stop their kidnap-for-ransom activities, and restore peace in Western Mindanao,” he added.
“We will never falter. We will not rest even a bit in our conduct of combat, intelligence, and civil-military operations to protect our people. We will exhaust all means-legal and moral– to bring this war against terrorists to conclusion,” the AFP chief disclosed.