President Duterte has ruled out the declaration of a state of emergency in Sulu despite his outpouring grief over the brutal killing of 15 soldiers by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
The President assured that government forces are already conducting punitive offensives against the Abu Sayyaf terrorists to hold them accountable for their crimes.
“Hindi, it’s just a punitive police action by the security forces of the government,” Duterte said in a press conference at the Manila airport when asked if he will place Sulu under a state of emergency. “The magnitude of the trouble there does not warrant anything except the industry of the AFP and PNP,” he added.
The President reiterated his resolve to destroy the Abu Sayyaf Group shortly before he flew to Zamboanga City to visit the wake of the slain soldiers.
Fifteen soldiers were killed in heavy fighting with the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Patikul, Sulu last Monday. Two soldiers were reportedly beheaded by the group while the country was commemorating National Heroes Day.
At the Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City, the President paid his final respects to the soldiers, calling them heroes for sacrificing their lives for the country.
He also extended his sympathies to the families of the slain soldiers and offered financial, livelihood and educational assistance to cope with their loss. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)