AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr and WestMinCom commander Lieutenant General Arnel dela Vega
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is running out of resources, that’s why they resort to extorting money from the communities.
This is the main reason that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sees behind the bombing incident at Sitio Colonia in Lamitan, Basilan on Tuesday (July 31).
According to AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr., the bandit group is in dire need of money to fund their operation.
“Base doon sa information at saka sa report, humihingi sila ng P50,000 sa lahat ng mga LGUs and that single action iyon na ang ginagamit nilang panakot para lahat ng mga LGUs, kung 11 mayors iyon ay times P50,000, malaking amount ng pera iyon,” said Galvez.
But the local government of Basilan maintains not giving in to the demands of the terror group even if they say that the money is in exchange for the release of their captives.
“Secondly is to gain some support kasi nakita natin na ang Abu Sayyaf sa Basilan more than 150 na iyong nagsu-surrender and they wanted to make some very strong statement and that statement is through the bombing na ito,” Galvez further said.
Meanwhile, the government is not discounting the possibility of the ASG sowing terror elsewhere.
This prompted PNP Chief Police Director General Oscar Albayalde to tighten the security in checkpoints and the implementation of Oplan Sita across the country.
“We have to be on our toes especially so here in Metro Manila, dito sa NCR, dahil malaking impact iyan pag dito. Kaya todo ang pagbabantay natin dito,” the PNP Chief said.
“Anything can happen anything is possible. But based on our intelligence, on our data, the probability is not that high,” said Lt. Gen. Arnel De Vega, AFP Western Mindanao Commander, when asked about the probability of the terrorist attacks.
The military, meanwhile, appealed to the public not speculate but to stay calm instead and let the authorities do their respective jobs. – Dante Amento / Marje Pelayo