AFP: Abu Sayyaf clash won't hamper road construction

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2014 12:06 PM | Updated as of Nov 03 2014 11:53 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) -- The remains of six soldiers killed in an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan on Sunday are now in Zamboanga City.

Five of the soldiers have been identified as coming from Northern Mindanao, while their senior officer hailed from Bacnotan, La Union.

The slain soldiers were 2Lt. Jun Corpuz, Sgt. Tranquelino Germo, Pvt. First Class Roland Enterra, Pvt. First Class Freddie, Pvt. First Class Raffy Canuto, and Pvt. First Class Mark Anthony Singson.

Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato, Philippine Army spokesperson, said Corpuz is a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) earlier said it received information that the group of one Radzmi Jannatul attacked the soldiers.

AFP spokesperson Harold Cabunoc said the families of the slain soldiers have been informed of the development and will be given burial and financial assistance.

The soldiers were securing the construction of the Basilan Circumferential Road project when they were attacked by some 20 Abu Sayyaf bandits.

The AFP has sent reinforcements to Basilan to help in the operations against the Abu Sayyaf.

Cabunoc said a similar attack was carried out two years ago to disrupt the road project. He said the recent attack will not be a reason for the disruption of the road's construction.

''Hindi pwedeng hayaan maantala itong Basilan circumferential road… Ito ang nakikitang tugon ng pamahalaan sa kahirapan at kakulangan ng development sa lugar. Nakakalungkot na ang mga sundalo sa peace and development efforts ay inaatake mismo ng beneficiaries ng naturang proyekto,'' Cabunoc told ANC.

''We will continuously conduct security patrol to make sure it is completed by December 2014. Inaalam pa natin kung itong grupo ni Jannatul ay may hawak na hostages."

The AFP leadership has ordered a probe into the incident. - ANC; with Edwin Sevidal, dzMM