Boholano was ‘kind, respectful’ before joining Abu Sayyaf
CLARIN, Bohol — Boholano Joselito Melloria, the slain Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member, was not only familiar with the town of Clarin but also studied high school there.
Moreover, he was a “kind and respectful person” that it came as a shock to his former landlady Pacing dela Torre that he became a member of a dreaded bandit group.
Torre, 64, came with her children to the Clarin Funeral Homes in the town proper to see the remains of Melloria, in his 20s.
She said Melloria and his family used to rent a room in her apartment when he was studying at the Nawahan National High School in Clarin.
Barangay Nawahan adjoins the village of Bacani where Melloria was killed on Saturday afternoon. Melloria hailed from Barangay Napo of Inabanga town that shares borders with Clarin.
So far, however, none of the immediate relatives of Melloria has come.
Melloria, according to the police, left his hometown a few years ago, married a daughter of an Abu Sayyaf Group leader and converted to the Muslim faith.
No one knew about his activities until he returned to Inabanga on April 10 in the company of a group of armed men who later turned out to be ASG members reportedly on a terror and kidnapping mission in nearby provinces.
According to the military, Melloria carried the alias Abu Alih and assumed the leadership of the remaining ASG members who escaped the government siege in Napo on April 11 that left at least four of his comrades, including their leader Abu Rami, dead.
They were later found to be hiding in a cave in Bacani, a place familiar to Melloria.
Dela Torre said she still could not comprehend why Melloria became an ASG member and even brought so much terror and fear in his own hometown.
“But-an mana siya nga bata. Dali ra namo masugo (He was a very good kid. He never refused when asked to do an errand),” Dela Torre said. CBB/rga
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