2 extra battalions deployed in Sulu for offensive vs Abu Sayyaf

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - An additional two battalions of soldiers have been deployed in Sulu to hunt and tire out the Abu Sayyaf group, according to a military area commander.

Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said an Army battalion was deployed and joined the Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 (MBLT) that replaced the MBLT 2 the other week.

He said aside from the two additional battalions augmenting the current military forces in Sulu, a company of marines under the test mission also joined the pursuit mission against the Abu Sayyaf group.

“We have intensified the operations. In fact, we deployed additional battalion in Sulu and the marines for test mission were also deployed,” Dela Cruz said.

“Hindi namin titigilan ito as we follow the order of Armed Forces chief of staff (General Hernando Iriberri),” Dela Cruz said.

Iriberri during his recent visit in Zamboanga and Sulu urged the ground forces to produce results in its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf group until May and review its campaign plan to address the remaining concerns of the operations. 

Dela Cruz clarified that the AFP chief has not imposed a deadline in its operation but issued guidelines to ensure that the intensified operations continue to flush out the Abu Sayyaf group.

“Kung may natira pa sa kanila (Abu Sayyaf), we will review kung saan kami nagkulang at kung ano pa ang puwede naming ma-improve to enhance our hunt against this group,” Dela Cruz said. 

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