By Francis Wakefield
The chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force Sulu said that Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits are still holding nine hostages, including six foreigners, in Sulu province.
In an interview at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, said of the remaining hostages, one is a Dutch national, five are Indonesians and three are Filipinos.
Sobenana said efforts are being made by government troops in the area to safely rescue the remaining hostages.
He said the group holding the victims are led by ASG leader Radullan Sahiron.
Sobejana, in the same interview, said that they are gaining ground or headway when it comes to their operations against the terrorist group.
“Hopefully, we could end the Abu Sayyaf operations in due time because the President has declared that we will resume our operations (with) the intensity that we applied when we started it… three of the battalions earlier deployed to Marawi City will soon return,” he said.
Sobejana said that there are at least 400 Abu Sayyaf bandits being hunted by the military in Sulu.
“Actually, some of the fighters who went to Sulu, based on my monitoring, have already been neutralized… so there has been a reduction of their ranks,” Sobejana said.
Sobejana said even the poorest of the poor in Sulu have been victimized by the Abu Sayyaf’ atrocites.