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Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is confident that the Abu Sayyaf Group would be subdued by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
“No better time to address the ASG problem than under President Duterte: kidnap them back or kill them. It may need good very intelligence work though,” Lacson said on Twitter.
Lacson made the statement after the severed head of Canadian national hostage Robert Hall was found and submitted to the Philippine National Police (PNP) crime laboratory for testing.
But in a separate text message to reporters, Lacson said he is looking forward to see Duterte at work against the ASG.
“If there’s a better time to engage the Abu Sayyaf group ‘tit for tat’, it’s under President Duterte’s administration,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters.
“Kailangan lang muna ang isang mahusay at matiyagang intelligence work para pinpoint accuracy ika nga sa mga targets.,” he said.
“There should be no room for mistaken identities for obvious reasons,” added the senator.
The rebel group beheaded Hall after the ransom deadline expired at 3 p.m. Monday without the government giving in to their demand of a P600-million ransom money.
Hall is the second Canadian the group beheaded since it took hostage four people that includes a Filipina and Norwegian national on Samal Island September last year.
Lacson, a former PNP chief, said the government should ensure an efficient intelligence work on the ASG to ensure that operations against the group won’t be ruined.
“Sa panig naman ng gobyerno, dahil malalim na infiltration ang kailangang gawin sa pagsagawa ng intel work, dapat walang ‘sunog’ para walang mapahamak na operatives,” he said.
“A lot of technical intel is also needed to compliment human intel. Dapat matapos na ang problema ng paghahasik ng lagim ng ASG,” added the senator.
Lacson said he can vouch on the experience and capability of the tough-talking Davao City mayor to end the ASG’s violence and provide stability in conflict-stricken Mindanao. (Hannah Torregoza)