Armed Forces of the Philippines reports that government forces sustained its operational momentum against the dreaded Abu Sayyaf bandits through relentless combat missions this year. Since the start of 2015, 37 ASG bandits were killed and 80 others were wounded in combat operations. In contrast, 27 bandits were killed and 38 others were wounded the whole year last year.
“The increase in figures yielded this year can be attributed to the intensified operations that were implemented through the Joint Task Group-Sulu headed by Col Alan Arrojado,” AFP said in a statement.
Also this year, four kidnap victims namely Hadjan Perong, Michelle Panes, Zakia Aliep, and Eljon Marzo were freed. Five hostages were released in 2014 including foreigners Lorenzo Vinciguerra, Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen.
Gains against the lawless ASG, however, sacrificed seven soldiers and wounded 50 while performing their sworn duties. The AFP and the Philippine National Police in partnership with local government units commit to address the social issues that caused the existence of the Abu Sayyaf Group and at the same time continue their relentless joint law enforcement operations.