By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) is now closely monitoring some politicians in Sulu, who are being suspected of giving financial support to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province.
This was disclosed by WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana who said on Saturday that the military was already closely monitoring these politicians in Sulu.
He, however, did not reveal the identity of the politicians.
“We have received similar reports that some of these politicians in Sulu are supporters of the Abu Sayyaf Group, but we have no proof or evidence against them yet,” Sobejana said.
Sobejana made the disclosure at the launch of “Up-Up Zamboanga” which held at the Third Air Division headquarters of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in this city on Saturday.
Sobejana said socio-economic development was the main problem in the province, and that poverty remains as the root cause of the insurgency problem in most places, not only in Sulu.
The AFP-WestMinCom commander here believed that a “holistic approach” was one of the primary solutions to put an end to the existence of the ASG in Sulu.
Sobejana added that use of government resources, like firearms and soldiers, may not solve the decades-old problem of terrorists in Sulu.
He said: “Kami dito sa AFP-WestMinCom that covers four regions will do our job, following the rule of law, with the due respect to human rights and will strictly adhere with the provision of international humanitarian law.”
He maintained that the military was being guided by “our strategic frameworks which are development, governance and security.”
“We believed that there can be no security and peace without inclusive development, and inclusive development cannot be achieved without good governance,” Sobejana noted.