No pullout of troops in ZC yet — AFP PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:31

There are no plans yet to pull-out military units in Zamboanga City to protect the areas from rebel threat despite neutralizing the Moro National Liberation Front(MNLF).

“We will help in the ongoing PNP (Philippine National Police) efforts to clear the formerly MNLF-controlled areas for now. This will take around two weeks,” said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala on Monday.

But while this is going on, several military units will be rested and reserved outfits will be deployed in their place.

“The fighting has been fierce, long and hard for our soldiers so its important that they recover and one way to recover is to rest them and replace them with fresh troops,” Zagala stressed.

He also declined to comment on how much money the 20-day fighting has cost the Philippines, adding that units in the field are still tallying their expenditures in fuel and ammunition.

Zagala added that the AFP has demonstrated its capability in eliminating the enemies of the state.

“They have seen our soldiers’ will to fight and the firm resolve that our soldiers and commitment have in eliminating the enemies of our (country),” he stressed.

He stressed that operations against the MNLF only took this long as the military was forced to use “calibrated response strategy” due to the presence of civilian hostages.

“They only lasted this long because they had hostages, if they did not have hostages the story will be different,” the AFP public affairs office chief stressed.