Abu Sayyaf stragglers in Bohol now impotent: AFP chief

MANILA — The remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol no longer have the capability to conduct kidnappings or other atrocities, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said in an interview late Thursday.

“They are running for their lives, especially the wounded ones. Sooner or later, we will spot them and arrest or neutralize them,” Año said in Filipino.

He said “additional actions” are being undertaken to ensure the neutralization of the remaining bandits.

About seven Abu Sayyaf members, survivors of the botched incursion in the province’s Inabanga town, are being hunted by authorities as of this posting.

In the April 11 clash with government forces in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Napo, their leader Muanmar Askali alias “Abu Rami” was killed, along with three other bandits, three soldiers, a police officer and an elderly couple.

As this develops, Año said the PHP1-million-per-head reward offer of President Rodrigo Duterte to anyone who could give the exact location and whereabouts of the remaining bandits in Bohol, is a useful incentive for the community.

“That will facilitate the arrest or surrender of the remaining terrorists who are now still in Inabanga and in hiding, trying to evade security forces hunting them,” he added.

In exchange for the reward, interested parties only need to provide the information on the bandits’ whereabouts — no questions asked, he said.

“This time, this loathsome band of criminals will not just be hounded by sniffing dogs of the AFP but also by the local residents who will be a million peso or more richer by merely providing information leading to the neutralization of the former,” Año stressed. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com