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Palace backs military actions vs JI, Aquino to get briefing

Malacañang on Saturday reiterated its full backing for the military in going after members of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group, following the killing of at least three top terror leaders in Mindanao earlier this week.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will give President Benigno Aquino III a full briefing on the operations “this weekend.”

“We have full trust in the actions of the AFP. The air strike [last Thursday] was swift and without civilian casualties. The president will be briefed more extensively this weekend on the matter by AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

Last Thursday, the military claimed at least three top terrorist leaders were killed in an air strike in Mindanao.

On Friday, Philippine authorities tightened security in Sulu where the air strike occurred, amid the possibility of terrorist retaliation.

Valte said the operations showed there is “no safe haven for terrorists” in the Philippines.

“We do not treat them with kid gloves, there is no safe haven here,” she said.

Meanwhile, Valte said the Palace is leaving to local officials and law enforcers how to secure the release of two European birdwatchers who were abducted in Tawi-Tawi province.

Abducted were Dutchman Elwold Horn, 52; Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47; and Ivan Sarenas, 35, managed to escape.

Valte said the Philippine National Police, Philippine Navy and Philippine Marines have encircled the areas of movement of the abductors.

Effectively ini-enclose nila ang lugar para di sila [abductors] makalabas," she said.
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February 4, 2012 1:30pm
GMA News Online
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