SULU, Philippines – Philippine military chief General Gregorio Capatang Jr flew to Jolo, Sulu on Sunday, October 12, in the wake of Abu Sayyaf threat to behead one of the its 2 German hostages on Friday, October 17.
"We want to show that we are prepared for the rescue. We will have to wait for the orders from the Crisis Management Committee becuse they are German nationals. We have always been in contact with the ambassador, who has been telling us to make sure they are safe. We assured them the safety of their German nationals," Catapang said after presiding a command conference of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
The Philippine military has deployed additional troops to Sulu following the threat of the Abu Sayyaf. There are now 7 battalions – 5 Marines and 2 Army – deployed to the island. A company size of K-9 tracking unit was also deployed to help hunt down the local terrorists.
The German nationals were held captive in April 2014 as they were sailing in a yacht to the Philippines from Malaysia. They recently aired their appeals to Philippine and German governments. Catapang said they have monitored the group moving from between Indanan and Patikul towns.
Catapang said the troops are ready to launch rescue operations but they will not proceed without the go signal of the Crisis Management Committee, which is led by the local government unit.
Catapang is also counting on the Abu Sayyaf not to hurt the hostages inspite of its threat. "We feel that social pressure is stopping them. They will not do that because they are still negotiating with the Gernman government and the crisis management committee." Catapang said.
"We want to assure them that we are prepared for the rescue. We have necessary foce to conduct the rescue. But we will wait for orders. The ball is with the crisis management committee," Catapang said.
"Basta pag in-order-an kaming i-rescue, we will conduct a rescue (As soon as we get the orders to rescue them, we will conduct a rescue," said Catapang. The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding up to 14 hostages. – Rappler.com