Eventually, Abu Sayyaf’s Luck Will Run Out, Says AFP

Philippine Marines disembark from a troop transport ship.

 

Manila, Philippines, 03 Jumadil Akhir 1438/02 March 2017 (MINA) – Combined security forces now running after the Abu Sayyaf are confident that the bandits will eventually run out of luck and pay for the beheading of German hostage Juergen Kantner.

Philstar quoted Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año as saying that he expects contact between government troops and the bandits anytime.

“There’s an ongoing operation and we expect positive results anytime,” he said.

Afio said the troops are more determined to go after the Abu Sayyaf after they beheaded Kantner last Sunday.

Kantner and his companion Sabine Merz were taken captive in November on their 53-foot yacht near Sabah, eastern Malaysia, and brought to Jolo, Sulu.

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Merz was shot dead when she tried to resist the militants.

On Sunday, the bandits beheaded Kantner after the deadline for the P30-million ransom demand had lapsed.

AFP Public Affairs Office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the bandits were just lucky to slip off during the firefight with government troops.

“It will be soon when they will run out of luck. Our troops will in the end prevail over this force of evil,” Arevalo said.

The bandits are entrenched in local communities, complicating operations by a military that is wary of incurring civilian casualties.

 

Abu Sayyaf Are Not Muslims

Mindanao lawmakers said the Abu Sayyaf strongholds had become smaller, forcing the bandits to escape to the mainland.

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Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman said some of the bandits are going to the Lanao provinces to escape the military offensive against them.

“The engagement between the military and the local officials has been very effective so the natural tendency for the bandits is to go out and escape,” she said.

Lanao del Sur Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong said the Abu Sayyaf are not Muslims.

He said kidnapping and beheading their captives are anti-Islam and barbaric.

“These acts of terrorism are not in accordance with Islamic religion or way of life to which we, as representatives of our people here in the Philippines, belong. We are making this statement lest the rest of the country and the world would perceive our people to consent to, encourage or support such brutal barbaric acts done not only to a foreigner but to any innocent person,” Adiong told a news conference on behalf of the Muslim lawmakers led by House Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema and Reps. Ruby Sahali of Tawi-Tawi, Munir Arbison of Sulu and Mauyag Papandayan of Lanao del Sur.

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“We call on all Muslims to pray to Allah so that the Bangsamoro homeland will be protected from the effects of these evil acts of terrorism. We are also requesting our non-Muslim brothers and sisters to pray for us as we lead our people in attaining peace in our homeland,” they added. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)