Palace calls beheading 'barbaric'
MANILA- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) slammed terror group Abu Sayyaf on Monday after the latter beheaded a soldier held captive.
Military Public Affairs Office Chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo said they see the recent beheading as an attempt of the Abu Sayyaf to show that no one is safe from their atrocities anymore since the slain soldier was from Sulu as well.
"We see this as an attempt for them to show that first and foremost they really do not respect anyone anymore. No one is safe among the Suluanons because if they can perpetrate this act to one of them, a fellow Moro, a fellow Tausug, then they only show their true colors," Arevalo told ANC.
He added that the recent beheading was part of the bandit group's operations to send their message of terror.
"It is part of their operations that they were able to get someone from the AFP and kill him in this manner, brutal," he said.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella also called the beheading "barbaric."
"While Staff Sergeant Siraji was a soldier, he was a MNLF member who decided to trade his rifle as a fighter to become a peacemaker and agent of development to his fellow Tausugs," said Abella.
Abella assured the family of Siraji that the government will not stop until justice is served.
The military through Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana confirmed to ABS-CBN News on Sunday that the severed head and body of staff sergeant Anni Siraji was found in the village of Taglibis, Upper Patikul.
Siraji was a former member of the Moro National Liberation Front before joining the military, Arevalo said.
Sobejana said the remains of the soldier was in the state of decomposition which puts the time of his death at around 4 days ago.
"We were saddened by that news and we express our sympathies to the family... As it was, we understand that it’s all part of our jobs as soldiers and protector of our people," Arevalo said.
The Abu Sayyaf earlier this month also beheaded Noel Besconde, a crew member of the FB Ramona, at the vicinity of Western Patikul, Sulu.