Press Release
April 11, 2016


CHAIRMAN of the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, has condemned attempts of international terrorists to gain a foothold in the country saying that "deaths of Filipino soldiers from Mamasapano to Basilan demonstrate the determination of Filipinos to willingly lay down lives against terror."

"Let this be a warning to international jihadists," Guingona said. "Filipinos shall not be cowed by the threat of terrorism, no matter the cost."

The reelectionist senator noted that the casualty rate in recent Basilan firefights closely parallels the sacrifices of PNP/SAF elements killed and wounded last year after killing Jemaah Islamiyah's Zulkifli Abdhir, alias Marwan, in the terrorist's Mamasapano hideout.

"I commiserate with the families of 18 slain soldiers who recently perished in close quarter combat against 120 Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sitio Bayoko, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan," Guingona said. "I join the wounded and those who still fight in the belief that the heroic deaths of soldiers are justified even by just one lifeless body of Moroccan bomb expert, Mohammad Khattab."

Khattab was slain in Basilan alongside Ubaida Hapilon, son of the Sayyaf leader, Isnilon Hapilon. Khatam's companion, Malaysian jihadist Mohammad Najib Hussein, alias Abu Anas, was killed by military forces in December last year.

"If this is the cost of nipping international terrorism in the bud, the price paid is one to be proud of," Guingona said. "We salute their effort of derailing Jihadist plans to link local Abu Sayyaf bandits with international terrorist groups."

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