Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pres. Aquino vows relentless pursuit of Abu Sayyaf Group

President Benigno S. Aquino III said hat the government will relentlessly pursue the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as it has strained the country’s relationship with its neighbors.

"Wala nang safe area (from the Abu Sayyaf); talagang kailangan walang tigil ang paghahabol sa kanila. At ‘yan ang ongoing ngayon," the President said.

"Masyadong matagal nang problema itong Abu Sayyaf na ito… It affects our relationships with various neighboring states, na wala silang humpay at palagay ko naman dapat rin tapatan ng estado na walang humpay ang pagtugis sa kanila," he said.

German nationals Viktor Stefan Okonek, 71, and Henrike Dieter, 55, were abducted by the group in April after their yacht broke down near the island of Palawan while en route to Sabah in eastern Malaysia.

The couple was released last Friday (October 17) after a ransom was reportedly paid to ASG.

"Ang focus ko doon ay ‘yung Abu Sayyaf rather than the ransom. ‘Yon ang tinatrabaho ko together with the (Armed Forces) Chief of Staff, the Chief of the PNP (Philippine National Police), the SND (Secretary of National Defense), and the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government)," he added. (PCOO News Release)

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