24/7 operations against Abu Sayyaf eyed by incoming AFP chief

  • Incoming AFP Chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya plans to fight the Abu Sayyaf 24/7
  • Visaya believes the use of force is still the best option to eliminate the bandits
  • However, he said there is still room for peaceful solution to the problem

The incoming chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vowed to conduct 24/7 operations to hunt down and neutralize the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, currently the head of Southern Luzon Command who will assume the post of the AFP chief starting July 1, said the comprehensive plan against the terrorist group is ready to be implemented once he assumes office.

Asked by the media how the military under his command will fight the Islamic extremist militants, Visaya said his plan is to fight the Abu Sayyaf 24/7 [24 hours a day, 7 days a week].

“We are planning to fight the ASG 24/7. We would like to defeat the ASG the fastest way, that can be the best option to defeat them,” Philstar quoted the incoming AFP chief as saying.

Following the lead of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s position on the Abu Sayyaf menace by giving the bandits two options – talk or fight, Visaya, after saying that the use of force is still the best option to eliminate the problem, added there is still room for peaceful solution to the armed threats in Mindanao.

“It’s not all about bombs and bullets,” he said; referring to the plan to stop the threat posed by the bandit group.

Visaya said the military will support the government in bringing economic development by providing basic social services to the communities where the bandits operate that are prone to recruitment to rebellion.

In order to totally address the Abu Sayyaf threat, he said the military needs the support and cooperation of the community.

“We have more than enough forces to match them (Abu Sayyaf) but they are very hard to locate in the ground, so it essential for civilians to cooperate,” he said.