ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 6 November) – The mayors of 11 municipalities and one city of Basilan signed a manifesto Wednesday requesting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to intensify operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group and neutralize it.
The mayors stated in the manifesto that the ASG has been involved in a range of criminal activities such as extortion, kidnapping, bombing, and just recently an ambush that took the lives of six government soldiers.
The soldiers, including a junior officer, were killed in an ambush by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits last Sunday in Barangay Libug in the municipality of Sumisip. The soldiers were deployed to provide security to workers who are implementing a Saudi-funded road project.
“We believe that the ASG is a threat to the peace, security and development of our beloved province,” the mayors stated in the manifesto.
The signatory-mayors were Rose Furigay, Lamitan City; Gulam Hataman, Sumisip; Ingatun Istarul, Tipo-Tipo; Alih Sali, Akbar; Duri Kallahal, Tuburan; Talib Pawaki, Mohammad Adjul; Darussalam Lajid, Al-barka; Jomar Maturan, Ungkaya Pukan; Muctar Junaid, Tabuan Lasa; Rustam Ismael, Lantawan; and Jamar Mansur, Hadji Muhtamad.
The mayors condemned “in the highest possible terms and denounce the terroristic activities of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).”