Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla denied the petition, saying it is important for the military to continue with their operations even while the negotiations are ongoing.
"Hindi po tayo pumayag. Importante na tuloy ang operasyon. Nangyari na dati na ang hiling na yan ay nagiging ugat ng pagtakas," Padilla said.
He said they will give way if transfers or turnovers of hostages will happen, but will not stop at being in the offensive.
"Tuloy lang ang operations. Magbibigay lang ng puwang sa turn over at transfer. Hindi po natin wini-withdraw ang pwersa," he added
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that Misuari requested for a stop in military operations.
Misuari has promised to aid in the release of the hostages.
Padilla claimed that at least seven hostages have been released by the Abu Sayyaf in the past few days.
He believed that the number of Abu Sayyaf members have dwindled to 300 from almost 500 after the intensified operations of the military.
"Halos 481 sila bago nagkaroon ng sunod sunod na engkwento, maaring mga 300 na lang sila ngayon," he said. MJM
AFP rejects Misuari request for halt of ops vs Abus Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Friday, September 23, 2016 Rating: