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No deadline on ongoing military operations vs ASG -- AFP chief

By Priam F. Nepomuceno
PNA, Manila
September 11, 2016

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya, during his visit in Sulu on Saturday, told military personnel there is no deadline on the ongoing operations to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terror threat.

"No deadline is given on how long the focused military operations will last. We will hunt and pursue them as long as needed," he said.

Visaya also encouraged ASG members to take the path of peace or suffer the consequences of their terroristic actions as he laid down conditions for those who want to surrender.

"Those in the Abu Sayyaf who want to surrender, the AFP will accept them, provided that they release their hostages; if not, our soldiers will hunt them down and pursue them until all of them are neutralized," he stressed.

Visaya also congratulated troops for their services even as he encourage them to be more vigilant in the fight against ASG.

Ongoing military operations against the bandit group has resulted in 32 ASG killed in Sulu while 27 in Basilan with a total of 59 bandits killed combined.

The AFP, on the other hand, sufferred 15 casualties and 27 wounded in Sulu with three killed and one wounded in Basilan, with a total of 18 killed and 28 wounded.

Saturday's visit is Visaya's fifth time to troops taking the brunt of the fighting in the effort to destroy the ASG and rescue the remaining hostages.

The visit aims to boost the morale of troops, be abreast of the conduct of operation and hear for himself the needs of the operating units as well as provide guidance and convey the message of President Rodrigo Duterte to ground troops on the war against terror. (PNA)

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