TAGBILARAN CITY, May 11, (PIA)–Proven to be very reliable, information from the grassroots about the where-about of the remaining two wounded members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has kept government troops on their toes.
It might not be long before the timely report could come anytime and the capture of the remaining bandits could happen, Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño said, May 10.
With plenty unfiltered information getting in and communities on their toes, a regional police official summed, “right information at the right time should help.”
To do that, authorities are now organizing communities and capacitating residents what to look out for the of terrorists trying to evade government troops, through security briefings and impressed on the need to organize for information networking, while asserting and assuring tourists that travel in Bohol is still safe.
The Provincial Government gathered Bohol local officials: mayors and barangay captains including barangay peacekeeping action teams (BPATS) May 10, for the authorities to talk about helping government troops in reporting the presence of suspicious persons and of the Philippine National Police program Bikes for Peace and its events.
Explaining to members of the BPATS, barangay officials and local officials gathered for the Anti-Terrorism Information Drive at the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran and at the Quinale Beach in Anda, General Taliño emphasized Boholano courage and unity which thwarted the terror attempts of the notorious group here.
The police regional chief cited the crucial information of the community in Napo, in validating the presence of the armed men after the intelligence sources report a plan by the ASG to venture into the Visayas.
The information resulted to the encounter and the death of 4 armed men, 2 supporters and 4 government troopers.
He also cited the information from a motorcycle for hire driver about the presence of suspicious men near a cave in Bacani Clarin, a week later.
Band leader Joselito Melloria and three of his armed companions died in the ensuing gunfight after the validation of the information.
The community also efficiently caused the apprehension of another ASG bandit who survived over nearly a month roaming the jungles of Inabanga, Clarin and Tubigon before giving himself away when he attended a fiesta and refused to eat pork.
In fact, Taliño pointed out that the government troops’ engagement with the bandits succeeded because of the timely action of local authorities.
Without the courage and unity, [of Boholanos] the ASG could have done [what they intend to do], he pointed out.
Because of this, Police Chief Superintendent Taliño led the Regional Police Office and the Bohol Provincial Police Office and civilian bike enthusiasts in a two day Bike of Peace events in Bohol.
For the 20 kilometer Ride for Peace in Panglao May 9, General Taliño said the Rides for Peace would be held to assure tourists that it is still safe to go to Bohol or any place in the Visayas.
In Anda, after taking the 44 kilometer ride, bikers danced the zumba while waiting for the barangay officials for the terrorism briefing.
Topics during the forum with the local officials and peace advocates include Community and personal Profiling as well as Community Organizing.
Both topics are very important in fortifying communities against the entry of suspicious strangers that may further do crimes and start terror cells, the Tagalog speaking police chief said.
Importanteng bagay ang gusto nating ma-achieve, he said of the Bike for Peace and the Anti-Terrorism Forum.
We want people to help and we want fortified communities to help take care of their security, he added.
As to the Bike for Peace, Taliño said we will be doing this [Bike For Peace] in Bohol, Cebu or Siquijor, little this may be, but anything that can help, we will do, he capped. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)