ZAMBOANGA CITY–Various sectors on Monday condemned the beheading of a Moro soldier who was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) last week in Sulu province.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the execution of SSgt. Anni Siraji, a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatant turned soldier, just showed the need for the government to exert all efforts to end the Abu Sayyaf problem.
“On behalf of the Bangsamoro people, the leadership of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao condemns in the strongest terms the beheading of Staff Sergeant Anni Siraji,” Hataman said.
“Siraji is the latest victim of what has become a series of indiscriminate acts of terrorism by the Abu Sayyaf, killing even our fellow Bangsamoro,” Hataman added.
He described the recent atrocity as “acts of violence, acts that go against the grain of our humanity, which continuously hamper our efforts towards peace and justice within our shores.”
“These bandits–cowards who have no honor and no shame–have betrayed the cause which our most faithful mujahideens have fought for. These terrorists have no claim to the values of Islam, nor to the brave and dignified history of our people,” he said.
ARMM’s Darul Ifta (Fatwa Council) said in a statement that the recent atrocity of the Abu Sayyaf has showed their brutality and disregard to the teachings of Islam.
“The ARMM Regional Darul Ifta strongly condemns this inhuman and unIslamic act by the Abu Sayyaf Group [for the] beheading of Brother Anni Siraji,” the group said.
Government troops found on Sunday the decapitated remains of Siraji a few kilometers where the Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted him on Thursday, April 30, in the town of Patikul.
Siraji is assigned with the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion and a native of Sulu. He joined the military through the integration program after the government and the MNLF signed a peace agreement on September 2, 1996.
“While Siraji was a soldier, he was an MNLF member who decided to trade his rifle as a fighter to become a peace maker and an agent of development to his fellow Tausugs,” Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said on Monday.
Galvez said they are sustaining the focused military operation against the ASG in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to finish off the Abu Sayyaf in six months from January.
The victim was the third hostage that the Abu Sayyaf bandits beheaded this year.