Philippine armed forces have seized about 200 high-powered speedboats belonging to the Abu Sayyaf gang in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi Tawi and Zamboanga, The Philippine Enquirer Online reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at a hearing of the Commission on Appointments Committee on national defence on Wednesday, Armed Forces chief Lt-Gen Ricardo Visaya said neutralizing the “speed” of the bandits by confiscating their speedboats was just one of the “innovations” in the military operations against the Abu Sayyaf gang.
“Because these (speedboats) are the primary transportation assets of the Abu Sayyaf in their kidnapping activities, we have to neutralize that first,” he said.
But since there is no law preventing the gang from using high-powered speedboats, Visaya said he requested the Transportation Department to “deputize” the military in confiscating unregistered boats.
He said the seizure of the speedboats have impacted on the movement of the bandits.