Some Sulu pols aid Abus, says Westmincom chief

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP-WestMinCom) has been closely monitoring some politicians in   Sulu who reportedly    supporting financially the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operations in the province.

Lt.  Gen.  Cirilito E. Sobejana, Westmincom commander, said that the  AFP-WestMinCom  is closely  monitoring these politicians in Sulu  who are  suspected to be  supporting the ASG.

Sobejana said, “we have received similar report that some of these politicians in Sulu are supporters of the Abu Sayyaf Group but we have no proof or evidence against them that they are.”

Westmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

“What we are doing now is to closely monitor their activities and if found to be true, then we can pin them down,” Sobejana said.

Sobejana made the disclosure during the launching of “Up-Up Zamboanga” held at the 3rd Air Division of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in this city Friday, July 5.

Sobejana said that socio and economic development is the main problem in the province and poverty is the root cause of insurgency problem in most provinces in Sulu.

The AFP-WestMinCom commander here believed that a “holistic approach” is one of the primary solution to put an end to the existence of the ASG in Sulu.

He added that using government resources like firearms and soldiers may not solve the decade old problem of terrorists in Sulu.

He said “Kami dito sa AFP-WestMinCom that covers four  regions will do our job following the rule of law with the due respect to human rights and strictly adhere with the provision of international humanitarian law.”

He singled out that the military is  guided by “our strategic frameworks  which  is development, governance and security.”

Sobejana explained, “We believed that there can be no security and  peace  without inclusive development, and inclusive development cannot be achieve without good governance.”

So the governance includes everybody, not only the people in the government service but governance is everywhere, he said.

He said the military ultimate objectives or goal is to bring  the  government closer to the people in order to  achieved a lasting peace and progress in the community.

To achieve peace, he said is “to involve everybody because security is everybody’s responsibility.”

Sobejana defined “peace and progress” as people empowerment in addressing the challenges and changing environment while progress as patriotic response to opportunities and economically sustain society. (ely dumaboc)

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