MANILA, April 20—An official of the Diocese of Talibon in Bohol on Thursday urged the faithful not to panic amid the reported presence of Abu Sayyaf Group bandits in the area.
“Be calm because our military has already assured us that they are in control of the area,” said Fr. Chito Lozada, Talibon Diocese – Social Action Director over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The Catholic priest noted that the appeal was issued since it is only natural for the people to react if they feel the possible threat.
“It is but natural for people to feel fear and panic given that reports that they (ASG) are here or there,” Lozada added.
At the same time, he asked the public to be vigilant of their surroundings.
“But let us not be complacent as we really do not know where they (ASG) are,” the official of the Talibon diocese said.
A clash ensued between government troops and ASG bandits in the town on Inabanga last April 11, killing 10 people.
President Rodrigo Duterte offered a PHP1 million bounty for the capture, whether dead or alive, of each of the Abu Sayyaf members still in Bohol.