Still active

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - August 27, 2015 - 10:00am

I'm really dismayed to read about the Abu Sayyaf Group in the news. It only shows that the terrorist/criminal group is still active in the country. Obviously, the government has not been able to crush this pest. Just recently, the AFP rained artillery shells on a known ASG camp. The camp was where their wounded were being treated after the encounter with soldiers where two Philippine Coast Guard members were rescued. The military took the camp and confirmed two ASG members were killed and another wounded. I'm sure you will agree that we all wish the number of ASG casualties were higher. After all, they used artillery. 

The operations against the ASG have been going on for decades. We have heard that their numbers have been depleted, yet we still hear of their terrorist and criminal activities. There are still those who are enticed to join them, possibly with promises of riches and the like. I don't think it has anything to do with idealism and religion. These are just criminals. The AFP will do well to totally get rid of them. But to do that, they need the weapons. Weapons that work.

More than forty thousand M4 rifles were ceremonially turned over to the AFP last year. But after an assessment of the new rifles, it was discovered that the rear sights were all defective. This is unacceptable to anyone using a firearm, as both front and rear sights are used to properly aim at targets. In a firefight, a defective sight is as deadly as an enemy's bullet.

I find it hard to believe that a renowned company like Remington Arms, which has been in the firearm industry for centuries, would make a mistake like this. The supplier has agreed to take back all the rifles and fix the defect, with no extra charge to the government. Of course. The rifles are supposed to be brand new, free of defects. And they are supposed to be of military specifications, which are more stringent than those for the civilian market. Half of the repaired rifles were recently turned over to the government. I hope no more defects come up.

The AFP continues to upgrade its weapons and equipment. These are needed to fight the enemies of the state, both foreign and domestic. And we still have a lot of domestic enemies. Remember that both the ASG and the BIFF are well armed as well. They even have weapons that are not part of the regular armory of the AFP, such as the RPG-7. Where and how these terrorists and criminals attain them has always been a mystery. Reports that these groups already have the capability of manufacturing their own weapons by reverse engineering existing rifles such as the Barrett sniper rifle must be investigated. News footage shows that a lot of these extremely high-powered rifles are in the hands of terrorists. If true, then the military has to shut these factories down, for good.

I really hope to see the day when the ASG is finally crushed. They have caused immeasurable pain and suffering to many, not to mention the stifling of progress wherever they operate. Like termites in a house, they have no purpose at all. And just like termites, they seem hard to eradicate as well.



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