The Daily Manila Shimbun


Two Abu Sayyaf members killed in battle vs military, bringing total to 81

May 17, 2017

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were killed, bringing the total to 81 deaths on the side of the terrorist group since January, a military spokesperson said Wednesday, May 17, 2017 In a press statement, Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, AFP Western Mindanao Command spokesperson said “the all-out offensives launched by the military since January this year yielded to the deaths of 81 Abu Sayyaf, surrender of 50, apprehension of 18 and the seizure of 70 high powered and low powered firearms from the group.” The two Abu Sayyaf  died in an encounter with military forces in Sulu on Wednesday morning Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force Sulu Commander said troops encountered around 15 Abu Sayyaf members at the vicinity of Brgy. Sandah, Patikul around 7 am. He said the five-minute fire fight resulted in the recovery of two dead ASG members. Sobejana said authorities also recovered three M16 rifles from the terrorist group that scampered to different direction after the fighting. Petinglay said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, expressed belief  that the strength of Abu Sayyaf has been cut to  more than half. “My standing order to JTF Sulu Commander is to flush out the Abu Sayyaf from their comfort zones and bring them to places where they are vulnerable. This is exactly what is happening in Sulu and in other provinces confronting Abu Sayyaf threat”, he said. “Before the campaign started last January this year, we started going after more than 500 Abu Sayyaf members. With the support we are receiving from the local officials, and other stakeholders, including the MILF and the MNLF, we have strong reasons to believe that we are only confronting less than half the number of the bandits right now,” he added. “Our forces are in full throttle doing both lethal and non-lethal approaches. It will just be a matter of time that we will defeat the entire group,” Galvez said. Robina Asido/DMS