MANILA—The military on Saturday lauded the Boholanos for the timely information about the presence of 10 heavily armed Abu Sayyaf terrorists that slipped into the shorelines of Bohol early last Tuesday that nipped in the first terror attack on Bohol.
Brig. Gen. Resty Padilla Jr., spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said Boholano civilians living near the shorelines of Barangay Nabo in the town of Inabanga were the ones who first tipped off local authorities about the presence of armed men on board three motorized boats that landed about 5 a.m. last Tuesday.
Barangay Nabo is about 71 kilometers northwest of capital city of Tagbilaran.
Barangay officials immediately relayed the information to the police and military authorities who immediately sent troops to confront the armed men, who were later identified as the Abu Sayyaf terror group.
Fighting immediately erupted between the combined military and police forces against the Abu Sayyaf, led by Abu Rahmi, a notorious terrorist leader from Sulu. The gun battle lasted for seven hours.
Philippine Air Force (PAF) planes and helicopters were deployed, bombing and strafing the terrorists who had sought refuge in caves in Barangay Nabu, which are many in the village.
Rahmi was among the six Abu Sayyaf terrorists who were killed. The military also suffered four killed, including an army lieutenant.
It was the first time that the Abu Sayyaf sneaked into Bohol, a paradise island, a popular destination for foreign and local tourists.
Had the terrorist made a successful landing undetected, it would have been an unforgettable nightmare for Bohol.
Padilla said the timely report by civilians nipped in the bud the Abu Sayyaf evil intention to sow terror in the island-province.
He said civilian-military cooperation is very important in maintaining peace and order in the country.
It may be recalled that Bohol was the first province in the entire country that crushed the communist insurgency of the New People’s Army (NPA) in 2009 during the time of then Gov. Erico B. Aumentado.