Bato warns Abu Sayyaf their days are numbered
“Bilang na ang mga araw nila. (Their days are numbered).”
This was the message of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to the remaining Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members who had escaped after engaging government forces in a gun batle in Barangay Napo, Inabanga town in Bohol last week.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival at Pier 3 in Cebu City past 12 midnight Thursday, Dela Rosa said President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to stamp out the Sulu-based terror group.
“Knowing the president, if mosulti gani siya, tinud-on gyud na niya. Tinud-on na ang all-out war. Humanon na na sila. (Knowing the president, if he says something, he will really do it. The all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf is true. It’s time to finish them off),” he said.
Dela Rosa said the P1 million cash reward dangled by the president to anyone who can find the remaining eight alleged ASG members in Bohol is a big help.
“Pangitaon gyud na sila sa mga tawo. (People will really find them),” he said.
Should the eight suspected members of the terror group come out and surrender?
“Nah, mao ra gihapon. Moguwa sila, P1 milion ra gihapon. (It’s still the same. If they come out, that still means P1 million),” the feisty PNP chief said.
Dela Rosa called on the public not to be alarmed since the tension is only confined in Inabanga town in Bohol. The rest of Bohol and Cebu, he said, is safe.
“What happened was very isolated,” Dela Rosa said.
He said he was grateful that the persons who saw the armed men immediately reported it to the authorities.
“Knowing Boholoanos, they are simple people but they don’t allow these people (armed men) to reign,” he said.
Dela Rosa said the police, together with the Philippine Army, will continue to secure delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations attending the trade meeting in Panglao Island from April18 to 22.
Before leaving Bohol, Dela Rosa dropped by the wake of SPO2 Rey Anthony Nazareno in Calape town who was among four government troopers killed in the gunfight with ASG members in Inabanga.
“Although the family grieved the loss of a loved one, they are still proud that he (Nazareno) offered his life for the country,” he said.
Dela Rosa conferred on Nazareno’s family a Medalya ng Kadakilaan (PNP Heroism Medal) to recognize Nazareno’s bravery and dedication.
“The recognition is due him. He did a good job,” he said.
“Losing one’s life is part of the life of a policeman’s life. We juist have to be careful,” he added.
Dela Rosa gave a cash aid to Nazareno’s family but he refused to reveal the amount.
Four alleged members of the armed group, including their leader Muamar Askali, were killed in the gunfight in Barangay Napo, Inabanga town last April 11. Three soldiers—2nd Lt Estelito Saldua Jr.; Corporal Meljun Cajaban; Sergeant John Dexter Duero—and SPO2 Nazareno also died.
Government forces are currently running after eight other alleged members of the bandit group in Bohol.
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