By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has condemned the Abu Sayyaf group’s “barbaric” beheading of a kidnapped soldier and pledged to bring the notorious bandits to justice.
“We strongly condemn the beheading of Staff Sergeant Anni Siraji of the 32nd Infantry Battalion (32IB),” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“This is our assurance to the family of Staff Sergeant Siraji: That we would not stop until justice is served. Let us work against common criminals to have safer and more secure communities,” he said.
Siraji, a former Moro National Liberation Front member integrated into the military, was beheaded after the military killed three Abu Sayyaf members during a recent clash.
He was abducted in Patikul, Sulu last Thursday, April 20, while on the way for a peace and development mission, Abella said. The soldier’s cadaver was found in Sitio Kan Suil, Barangay Tagbili, Patikul, Sulu last Sunday afternoon.
“While Staff Sergeant Siraji was a soldier, he was a MNLF member who decided to trade his rifle as a fighter to become a peacemaker and agent of development to his fellow Tausugs,” Abella said.
“This barbaric act committed by ASG to a fellow Tausug has no place in a civilized society,” he added.
As government troops hunt down the terrorists, the Palace appealed anew for public vigilance against the Abu Sayyaf group.