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ANTITERROR CAMPAIGN

Hunt on for Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol clash

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 12:06 AM April 18, 2017
President Duterte at the wake of 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua Jr. in Batangas province  —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

President Duterte at the wake of 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua Jr. in Batangas province —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

CEBU CITY—Government troops on Monday continued hunting down eight members of the Abu Sayyaf, a week after the bandit group entered the village of Napo in Inabanga town, Bohol province, and engaged them in a firefight.

A list released by the military and the police showed that those being pursued were Joselito “Alih” Milloria and Abu Sayyaf members known only as Richard, Asis, Ubayda, Poy, Dah, Saad and Amra.

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Reports said Milloria, a native of Napo, served as a guide of the group on April 10. He left Napo several years ago when he married a woman who was said to be a daughter of an Abu Sayyaf leader in Mindanao.

Four Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the Inabanga clash. They were Muammar “Abu Rami” Askali, the group’s leader; Abu Sufyan, its bomb expert; Edimar Isnain; and an unidentified man.

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Their photographs were posted by the Inabanga local government on its Facebook page on Sunday.

“Stay alert and vigilant. Immediately inform authorities whenever you see these persons and other suspicious-looking men in your areas,” read the Facebook post in Cebuano.

The fatalities on the part of the government were 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua Jr.; Cpl. Meljun Cajaban; Sgt. John Dexter Duero; and SPO2 Rey Anthony Nazareno, a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics from Calape town.

Supt. Lorenzo Batuan, deputy director for operations of the Bohol police, said policemen were monitoring coastal areas while soldiers were scouring the mountains to look for the bandits.

Any information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects may be coursed through the military’s hotline 0905-4551543.

In Batangas province, President Duterte went to the wake of Saldua in San Jose town on Monday morning and handed his family cash assistance, a plaque and a mobile phone which contained the President’s number.

“The parents were told to contact the President should there be anything else they need,” said Roderick Alvarez, village chief of Mojon-Tampoy.

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He said Mr. Duterte also promised to give Saldua’s siblings educational assistance.

He said the village passed a resolution recognizing Saldua, 24, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy in 2015, as a local hero. —WITH REPORTS FROM MARICAR CINCO AND MARRAH RABE

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Bohol clash
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