MANILA–Three Bohol citizens were rewarded by the government for tipping authorities on the whereabouts of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members, resulting in the death of Joselito Melloria alias “Abu Alih” and three others.
The three civilians whose names have been withheld for security reasons, were rewarded by the Duterte administration after helping joint elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in locating rebels who were hiding in the caves of Barangay Bacani, Clarin, Bohol.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte himself went to Bohol weeks earlier to attend a security briefing during the ASEAN Meetings there and promised reward money to those who can point to the whereabouts of ASG members trapped in the said area.
Personnel of the PNP and AFP involved in the operations were also remunerated for their efforts.
A total of PHP4 million cash reward, as promised by the President, was given through the AFP Central Command.
The tipsters turned in information to the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) and Light Reaction Company (LRC) after noticing foot trails leading to one of the caves.
Government troops attacked the caves and an encounter ensued between opposing sides, which resulted in the death of Abu Alih and the recovery of his M16 rifle with an attached M203 grenade launcher.
An ASG member was also spotted buying bread in another part of town, giving the authorities an idea on the possible entry points of the rebel group’s hideout.
The rebels hiding in Barangay Bacani were reportedly remnants of the 11-man ASG bandits under subleader Moammar Askali alias “Abu Rami”, who was killed on April 11, 2017 in Barangay Napo, Inabanga town.
Rami was responsible for the beheading of several hostages, including foreigners.
“Tip lang ang ibigay mo sa pulis pati military,” President Duterte said, following Abu Rami’s neutralization. “No questions asked. Do not even give your name. Sabihin mo lang saan sila at gobyerno na ang bahala.”