AFP ready for worst case scenario as Sayyaf deadline nears
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines is unfazed by the threat of Abu Sayyaf bandits to behead their German hostages in Jolo, Sulu.
Still, the military assured Tuesday its forces in Sulu are ready for a “worst case scenario,” and would implement all-out law enforcement operations in the province.
Lieutenant General John Bonafos said Thursday whatever threat the Islamist rebel group makes, they are ready to counter it in the name of peace.
“We would not be rattled by the situation that these lawless elements have done,” Bonafos said. “We are implementing our skills and abilities to establish peace and security in the area.”
“We can’t say on the real status of the beheading, we are confirming if they would really do it or they are just using it as a scare tactic,” he added.
The Abu Sayyaf has captured German doctor Viktor Stefan Okonek, 71-years-old and his woman companion Henrite Dieter and demanded a P250-million ransom from Germany.
The rebels also asked Germany to withdraw its support from the multi-nation offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
‘Worst case scenario’
Colonel Allan Arrojado, Sulu Island Commander, said they are expecting the worst but are ready to enforce the law once they determine the exact location of the kidnappers.
“We expect the worst case scenario, if the Abu Sayyaf makes do with their [threat] of beheading their hostages,” Arrojado said.
The Abu Sayyaf threatened to behead the German on Friday if Germany does not give in to their demands.
“But, we here in Sulu, are ready for an all-out law enforcement operation on the kidnappers,” Arrojado added.
Sulu Governor Sakur Tan met with the AFP and formed a special action committee that would “enforce the law” on the perpetrators of the kidnapping.
Bonafos said that they would prioritize the safety of the hostages in their all-out law enforcement against the Abu Sayyaf.
“That is a prime consideration; we have to make sure that we can get the hostages safely,” Bonafos said.
He added that the military asked for the support of the Philippine National Police in issuing the warrants of arrest for those involved in the kidnapping.
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