AFP calls anew for public support in curbing terrorism

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, on August 29, 2020, urged all Filipinos to help security forces in neutralizing and containing the threat of terrorism.

AFP Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay. (PNA file photo)

“Terrorism remains a threat to any democracy. We appeal to all freedom-loving Filipinos to join hands with your Armed Forces of the Philippines as we strengthen our efforts to secure our borders and provide a safe environment for Filipinos,” Gapay said in a press statement.

National security, he said, is a shared responsibility that requires trust, respect, and cooperation from the citizenry.

“Everyone should be aware of their surroundings and report all suspicious persons, doubtful activities, and left-behind personal belongings while remaining vigilant at all times,” Gapay said.

He noted that by helping each other, the military and the public could accomplish more things together in ensuring the safety of the people and country.

“Security is a shared responsibility, one that should be embedded in our consciousness. The Anti-Terror Act of 2020, despite enhancing our capability to prevent such careless hatred, will fail without the mindful cooperation of every Filipino,” Gapay said.

Meanwhile, he said all AFP officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees were extending their deepest sympathies to the families of the 15 persons who were killed in twin suicide bombing attacks last August 24.

“We offer our prayers for those who have died and the 74 wounded, all victims of that brazen attack on human lives by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group, which has been the subject of intense intelligence gathering and monitoring, as well as combat operations in Mindanao,” Gapay said.

Earlier this week, two female suicide bombers were found to be behind the attacks.

Senior military officials identified them as the wife of 23-year-old Norman Lasuca, the first identified Filipino suicide bomber, and the widow of Talha Jumsah, alias Abu Talha, a slain bomb expert. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)