MANILA, Nov 16 — The government extended on Saturday its condolences to the families of soldiers killed in a series of encounters in Sulu against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“Nakikiramay tayo sa kanilang mga pamilya, at nagpapasalamat po tayo sa kanilang pagbibigay ng talagang the ultimate sacrifice para po sa ating bansa,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.
“Saludo po tayo sa katapangan at kagitingan ng ating mga sundalo dahil kung wala ho sila, hindi po tayo makakatulog nang mahimbing sa gabi,” she told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
The Malacanang official also made an assurance that the government will provide assistance to the families of the slain soldiers.
The military said on Friday that soldiers patrolling an area in Sulu encountered a large group of Abu Sayyaf bandits commanded by a high ranking leader.
The soldiers engaged the Abu Sayyaf for around five hours resulting to several casualties from both sides. The military reported that less than 10 Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the the series of encounters with around 30 injured.
The Armed forces said it already sent reinforcements to prevent them from escaping.
President Aquino ordered military operations against the Abu Sayyaf after the release of two German hostages recently.