No safe haven for Abu terrorists in Central Visayas
CEBU CITY—If there is one lesson the Abu Sayyaf must learn, it is that they are not safe in Central Visayas.
“They are definitely not welcome here. They will be mobbed here,” said Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas.
Taliño said the military and the police continue to scour the hinterland areas of Clarin town in Bohol, where government forces battled the bandits on Saturday, leaving four militants dead.
The rebel stragglers are believed to be fighting for their survival and may no longer pose much threat.
Information received so far by the police indicate that there were only three Abu Sayyaf bandits left in Bohol, two of them already wounded.
“We will not let go of this. I’m sure they are running out of food, and perhaps they are just drinking water anywhere. Very soon, we will get them,” he said.
Since April 11, eight Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were killed in two gun battles in the municipalities of Inabanga and Clarin.
Among those killed were Muamar Askali, the acknowledged leader of the group; bomb experts Abu Sufyan and Edimar Isnain; Joselito Melloria, a native of Bohol who guided the ASG; pump boat operator Aldimar Taib; a man named Richard and another called Omil, and an unidentified man.
Three others identified as Alyas Asis, Kaifar Sawadjaan also known as Um Ammra, and alias Ubayda remain at large. The bandits reportedly had a pocket of P5 million, according to reports that have yet to be verified.
The gunmen allegedly went to Bohol, a tourist destination, to scout for new victims and expand their operations from the southern islands of Basilan and Jolo, in Mindanao.
“The items, the IED (improvised explosive device) components authorities recovered speak for itself. We are just glad that we were able to abort their mission,” Taliño said.