Faced with alleged plots to assassinate him, kidnap boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and Kris Aquino, and launch bomb attacks in Metro Manila, President Aquino has vowed to employ the “full might of the State” to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf criminals.
The President said security forces would not stop until the threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf to communities is ended, warning the public to expect casualties.
“The full resources of the State are being brought down on the ASG. Our primary objective is to rescue the hostages and ensure the safety of our civilian population,” Aquino said in a statement. “Casualties are to be expected. But what has to be of utmost importance is neutralizing the criminal activities of the ASG,” he added.
Aquino said he was ready “to devote all my energies towards ensuring that, at the very least, this will be a very seriously degraded problem that I will pass on to my successor.”
This was the President’s first public statement since Canadian hostage John Ridsdel was decapitated by the Abu Sayyaf.
Ridsdel, one of the hostages taken from Samal Island in September 2015, was killed last Monday after the terror group’s ransom deadline passed.