Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says he will not resort to an army assault on Muslim guerrillas who killed 19 army soldiers in fierce fighting in the south. He says he will continue peace talks with the rebels.
Aquino is seeking answers on why a platoon of army special forces incurred such heavy losses in the daylong fighting Tuesday on southern Basilan island.
Some officials have called for tougher action against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which was involved in the deadly clash. Some urged Aquino to order an offensive against the rebel group, which is engaged in talks with the government.
Aquino said Thursday that breaking a cease-fire with the rebels and resuming outright war would not do anybody any good.