The Daily Manila Shimbun


Abu Sayyaf leader Hapilon wounded, foreigner killed in airstrike

January 28, 2017

A leader of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was wounded while a foreign national believed to be with the terrorist group was killed during an airstrike by the military in Lanao Del Sur last Wednesday evening.

In a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun Saturday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Isnilon Hapilon, who is in the most wanted terrorist list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and has a five million dollar reward, was wounded in Lanao del Sur.

“Our troops are in hot pursuit of the fleeing and injured Isnilon Hapilon,” Lorenzana said.

In a separate text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año said an undetermined number of terrorists  were killed, including a foreign national.

“Hapilon is seriously wounded while undetermined number of enemy killed. One foreigner is among the dead known as @ (alyas) Mohisen,” Ano said.

The defense and military chiefs confirmed the use of two FA-50 jets of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) against the terrorist group in Lanao del Sur.

“Yes, FA50’s are among the aircraft that we used in this current operation in Butig, Lanao del Sur,” Año said.  “Yes, we used two of our four FA50 and they worked like a charm,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said the jets were used in the “evening of Jan. 25”. “They were not used again,” he added.

The FA50 is one of the modern air assets acquired for the Philippine Air Force.

The contract for acquisition of the 12 fighter jets from Korean Aerospace Industry was signed last March 2014.

It can be recalled President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the acquisition of the FA50s saying it is a “waste of money.

Lorenzana said OV10 Broncos and helicopters were used “for follow-up operations.”

Last Thursday, Lorenzana mentioned that Hapilon and some Abu Sayyaf members moved to Lanao del Sur since mid-December last year.

He said the group of Hapilon went to Lanao to find out if it is conducive to setting up a terrorist organization​. Robina Asido/DMS