MANILA, Philippines — Let the Armed Forces of the Philippines finish its job in Sulu and Basilan, Senator Rodolfo Biazon said Tuesday, amid calls that the military stop its operations in the two provinces.
“Too many soldiers have to be sacrificed fighting for our people and our country. These calls are implying that our soldier’s supreme sacrifice is meaningless,” Biazon, who heads the committee on National Defense and Security, said in a statement.
“We cannot recall our soldiers back to the barracks and allow the lawless elements to lord it over our people, our communities and our country…We are already short in providing them the means to fight, let us not take away the reasons why they are fighting for this country,” he added.
Among those calling for a ceasefire are the Catholic bishops.
Biazon, a former AFP chief, said those who questioned the military action “did not understand the situation in the area.” He reminded them of the government’s need to assert its authority over its territories and communities.
“I’d rather that we allow the military to do its job without being disturbed while operations are going on. Any lapses, any shortage, any shortfall of the military and the government should be addressed later on when the situation settles down a little,” he said.
Biazon said fault-finding could demoralize the soldiers.
However, surgical operations by small special units could be a part of the general strategy, he said.
“Small unit operations cannot be relied upon when the lawless elements could muster as much as 500 to 700 fighters as was the case of the ambush against the Marines in July 10 in Basilan,” he said.
Originally posted at 09:43 am