This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 7, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: We go live to the Philippines, where our very own FOX News Channel, Colonel Oliver North, is covering a major counter-terror operation on a joint Philippine task force and U.S. special advisers on the hunt for the Islamic terror group Abu Sayyaf.
Colonel, what's happening?
OLLIE NORTH, HOST OF "WAR STORIES": John, it was like hitting the jackpot in the global war on terrorism. It's one of the largest payouts ever in the Department of State's Rewards for Justice program, $10 million paid out to four Filipinos who have provided information used by the armed forces of the Philippines for a successful military operation, in which two leaders of Abu Sayyaf, the Islamic terror group, were killed.
Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Solaiman were wanted for killing scores of Americans and Filipinos. The identities of the recipients had to be kept secret to prevent reprisals, but the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Kristie Kenney, Who attended the ceremony, described the recipients as brave citizens who had the courage to come forward.
General Hermogenes Esperon, the chief of staff of the Filippine armed forces, symbolized the success by dramatically crossing out Janjalani and Solaiman from a most-wanted poster. Well, the man who's in charge of this part of this entire operation, Major General Ruben Rafael, who is the commanding general of Task Force Comet, is also the senior military officer here in Sulu province, including this island.
General, I've got to ask you, are the citizens of Sulu province becoming more helpful to your military in carrying out these missions?
MAJ. GEN. RUBEN RAFAEL, CO. TASK FORCE COMET: Yes, they are, Ollie. As a matter of fact, what was shown yesterday is just an example of how our citizens here in Sulu are providing us information on the locations and activities of the enemy.
NORTH: What's your biggest challenge that you face today in this war?
RAFAEL: Still the biggest challenge is finding and neutralizing every leader, especially the Jemaah Islamiya leaders. This is the biggest challenge that we are now facing.
NORTH: When I was here two years ago, the idea that a private citizen would come forward and help you and your military was unthinkable, and yet they do today. What's changed?
RAFAEL: Well, because of the good, excellent relations that the people of Sulu and the armed forces have happened. And then, of course, our troops have been following our three P's. Our success is dependent on the patience, perseverance and persistence that we have, I have been imparting on them. For the last nine months, that's what they've been following.
NORTH: Now, tell me, just between you and me, have these special operations troops down here been helpful?
RAFAEL: Yes, these guys are excellent. They've been providing us with great support, on technical, medical, small-unit training, and, of course, on a personal basis, they're great. I hope they do not leave us.
NORTH: And they don't want to leave before the job is done. Let's talk to man who's your counterpart out here. Major Matt Whitehead is the commanding officer of this Special Forces camp, referred to as Advanced Operating Base 150.
Matt, what's the mission of your elite warriors out here, fight the war?
MAJOR MATT WHITEHEAD, U.S. SPECIAL FORCES: No. No. Our mission here is to provide advice and assistance to General Rafael and the Philippine military. We do that through a variety of means. We share military intelligence with them. We do a lot of things to help the local population, winning over the hearts and minds of the people. We do that with my Special Forces medics, and his medics, doing medical clinics, veterinarian clinics. We also have the good folks from USAID down here, making a real impact, building roads, repairing schoolhouses. So all of our assistance that we've rendered down here is all through, by and with the Philippine military.
NORTH: When you say through, by and with, I want to make sure that everybody back home knows that these really elite warriors are not doing the fighting. That's General Ruben's folks. The fact is, these guys are here to help make it happen. What's it like working with these fellows?
WHITEHEAD: It's very rewarding working with such a professional military like the Filipinos. Who better understands the situation down here in the southern Philippines than the Filipinos? So we make sure that everything that we do is, like I said, through, by and with them. They're the ones with the understanding of the situation down here. And it's their solutions, Filipino solutions, for the situation down here in Sulu.
NORTH: You described this as an austere operating environment. Do you want to tell anybody back home how hot it is right here, right now?
WHITEHEAD: It's very hot. It's very hot and humid. And it's not the weather we're used to back at Fort Lewis in Washington state, that's for sure.
NORTH: Well, I want to tell you that I admire what you're doing. Anybody at home you want to say hi to?
WHITEHEAD: I'd love to say hello to my wife, Gretchen, and my daughter, Georgia. I love you and miss you both.
NORTH: Well, I will tell you, Sean and Alan, this is a remarkable teamwork that's been established here. I've watched General Rafael's troops out there working side by side with the special operations forces here. Their extraordinary teamwork is what's bringing all of this about, and their response to the civil military operations is incredible.
Sean, back to you.
HANNITY: Colonel, it means bearer of the sword, assassinations, kidnappings, extortions and killing Americans. And great work, Colonel. We'll see you back safe at home, my friend.
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