MANILA--- The military is doing well in its efforts to neutralize the various terror groups in the country.
This was claimed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo AAo in a message Sunday.
"The AFP is doing well in our fight against terror groups specially the ASG. We have neutralized 519 terrorists (including 178 Abu Sayyaf Group and 317 Maute/ISIS Group members) since January 1 until June 30, 2017," he added.
In the same period, military forces has recovered a total of 548 firearms -- a significant reduction of strength and capabilities --- of the above-mentioned lawless elements.
"We have prevented or minimize piracy and kidnappings. The desperation of Maute-ASG to claim recognition as an ISIS state prompted them to stage the rebellion and occupy Marawi City (last May 23)," the AFP chief stressed.
And while these actions have derailed AAo's self-imposed deadline to neutralize the ASG and their allies in six months, the military is now focusing on destroying the group in one decisive battle.
The AFP chief, during his assumption-of-command last December, vowed to eliminate the ASG and other allied terror groups within six months.
"These acts have derailed our objective to defeat them based on our timeline. While the Marawi siege caused by Maute-ISIS is catastrophic, painstaking and destructive, the AFP with our gallant soldiers will ensure to destroy the entire group in one decisive major battle," he added.
"We will not be pressured nor bounded by timelines. I will not talk about deadlines. Our job as ordered by our Commander-in-Chief is to finish the Maute-ISIS group and clear Marawi in order to pave for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi so that normalcy is restored at the soonest possible time with minimum loss of lives, both soldiers and civilians," the AFP chief emphasized.
The military will do this with the highest dignity and code of conduct of the professional soldier; and respect to human rights for for country, for the people and for soldier heroes who ultimately gave their lives for this cause, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency