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Abu Sayyaf bandits using illegal drugs?

The military is not discounting the possibility that some of the Abu Sayyaf bandits being pursued by the military in Sulu are under the influence of illegal drugs.

Marine Col. Edgard A. Arevalo, the chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, made the revelation following a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Arevalo said that based on intelligence reports they have gathered, some of the ASG bandits who fought against troops of the Army’s 21st Infantry Battalion and 35th on Infantry Battalion were high drugs.

“It’s an encounter talaga. There was intense firefight between the two sides. It’s just that may kalakihan ang kanilang numero. Ang report sa atin ay 120 fully armed ASG terrorist ang nakaharap nila ang ating mga sundalo ay talagang nakipagbakbakan,” Arevalo said. “Ang impormasyon pang naririnig natin sa ating mga operating units o sa ating mga intelligence operatives some of them are even under the influence of drugs when they faced our soldiers.”

The terror group are said to be actively moving from one place to another now that the soldiers are making an intense pursuit to pin them down.

“They are trying their best to avoid our operating units. These initial contacts indicates Number one that we are, we have the right human intelligence. We can attribute this to the people of Sulu na nakakakita, na nakakaramdam ng pangangailangan na matapos na ang problema sa Abu Sayyaf,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo also said based on information coming from Army Brig. Gen Arnel dela Vega, the commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, no soldiers were violated after the encounter. (Francis T. Wakefield)