MANILA - Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad is hoping that President Rodrigo Duterte can end the "kidnapping business" in Mindanao and instill peace in the entire region.
In an interview with Radio Veritas, the bishop said he is confident that Duterte knows the root of problems in Mindanao since the new president also came from the same region.
"With a president from Mindanao, he can address the problem on peace and order, especially kidnapping. Abu Sayyaf problem must be finished," Jumoad said.
On Thursday, June 30, Duterte took his oath as the 16th president of the Philippines.
In the previous three months, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has beheaded two of its foreign hostages.
The Abu Sayyaf is a loose network of a few hundred Islamic militants, formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, that has earned millions of dollars from kidnappings-for-ransom.
They are based in the heavily-forested, southern islands of Basilan and Sulu where their mastery of the terrain and assistance from local Muslim communities have helped them evade government pursuit. -- with a report from Agence France-Presse