Two suspected Abu Sayyaf members killed in Bohol firefight

DUMAGUETE CITY — The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army have confirmed the deaths of the last two remaining members of the terror group Abu Sayyaf in Bohol during a firefight in Pangangan Island, Calape on Monday.

Major Sandro Sereño of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Bohol said the alleged Abu Sayyaf bandit who was first killed during an encounter with government troops Monday afternoon was identified as alias “Ubayda”. The other suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit, alias “Asis”, was wounded but eluded arrest during the initial exchange of gunfire.

However, hot pursuit operations later resulted in the killing of Asis around 5:25 p.m. in Lawis, Pangangan in Calape, Bohol, said Maj. Sereño.

The Army major said Ubayda was identified through a wedding ring on his left forefinger as well as from a description from an informant.

Both Asis and Ubayda were reportedly the last two alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol from among at least 10 armed men who arrived in the town of Inabanga early last month to purportedly carry out kidnapping activities.

The others were killed in separate encounters with government troops since they arrived in Inabanga, Bohol.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, PNP Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) regional director, said that at around 12:30 p.m. Monday, two suspected ASG members were spotted at Barangay Cahayag in Pangangan Island, Bohol.

They initially took hostage a resident of the said town, who was later released.

They commandeered a motorcycle upon sensing that government troops were nearing, said Taliño. After noticing a PNP checkpoint, the two parted ways, he added.

A blocking force of both PNP and Army personnel arrived and a firefight ensued. Apart from the body of the first slain suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit, government troopers also recovered an M-16 armalite rifle and two magazines. Judy Flores Partlow/