MANILA—Authorities were able to extract much information from Saad Samad Kiram, the Abu Sayyaf bandit who was arrested in Tubigon town in Bohol Thursday but was shot dead for attempting to escape his police escorts early Friday.
“When asked, Kiram volunteered valuable information about their plan, their composition (in Bohol) and their capabilities. His revelations confirmed the dissolution of the threat in the province of Bohol,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said during an interview.
The slain bandit was a member of the 11-man team brought to Inabanga town, Bohol last April 10 by their chief Muamar Askali alias “Abu Rami” in a bid to wreak havoc on the province’s affluent tourist trade.
During the government offensives last April 11 and 22, Askali and Abu Sayyaf contact Joselito Milloria were killed, along with six of their companions.
The fatalities on the government side were three troopers and one policeman, along with an elderly couple, leaving Kiram and two others straggling in the forested areas of Bohol.
With Kiram’s capture and death, only two bandits remain unaccounted for, Padilla said.
Kiram was arrested by military troops last Thursday and was immediately scheduled to be detained at the district jail in Tagbilaran City as a high-profile inmate.
According to Padilla, during the transfer, the bandit claimed to have diarrhea and requested his escorts some time off to relieve himself, a request the police officers granted by stopping in Cortez town at 2 a.m. Friday.
This gave the suspect an opportunity to escape, prompting his escorts to launch a two-hour chase that ended at 4 a.m. with Kiram being shot dead for attempting to wrest away the gun of one of the pursuing police officers, Padilla said.
The incident was described as unfortunate by Central Command spokesperson, Col. Medel Aguilar, as more information could have been extracted from the bandit.
“We were informed early this morning about the death of Saad Samad Kiram. It is unfortunate that this incident happened because we still want to know more about his group, their other plans,” he said.
Aguilar said the police treated Kiram well, feeding him and giving him ample time and space to rest.