AFP resumes drive vs Abus in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:50

The military has resumed its campaign  and operation against Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in the jungles of Basilan.

The Joint Task Force Basilan together with PNP elements launched at dawn yesterday a ground assault against the Basilan-based Abu Sayaf Group under Isnilon Hapilon and Furuji Indama who are encamped at Barangay Silangkum, Tipo-tipo, Basilan.

The duo along with their followers are notorious for several high-profile kidnappings, murders which are usually undertaken by beheading their victims, extortion activities and bombings, according to a press statement from the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom).

The Wesmincom statement said that major atrocities committed by the group include among others, the Ipil town attack/burning sometime on April 5, 1994; the attack of Golden Harvest Plantation in Lantawan, Basilan where the group held hostage over 50 civilians and killed and beheaded some along the process; involved in the Dos Palmas kidnapping in Palawan victimizing several foreign and local tourists sometime in 2001 and attack of the Dr Jose Torres Memorial Hospital in Lamitan, Basilan sometime in June 2001.

Most recently, the group released Australian kidnap victim Warren Richard Rodwell on March 23, 2013 after more than a year in their captivity. Both ASG leaders and most of their followers presently have several standing warrant of arrest for crimes ranging from kidnapping and serious illegal detention, murder and frustrated murder.

Initial report reaching the Wesmincom Headquarters disclosed  that at around 5:30 a.m. yesterday, troops were engaged with the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas at the said vicinity.

Specific details as to the outcome of said encounter will be provided or made available once obtained.

“We would like to emphasize that the operation was conducted and directed only against the ASG terrorists with utmost consideration on the safety of MILF communities in the operational area with whom the government had recently jointly signed the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement,” the Wesmincom statement said.