Farmer informant in Clarin gets entire P1.1M bounty
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — Unlike the habal-habal driver who got only P450,000 for information which led to the neutralization of Abu Sayyaf member Joselito Melloria, the informant responsible for the arrest of Saad Samad Kiram got the entire P1.1-million reward.
The homeowner who fed the hungry Abu Sayyaf member and tipped off the police about his guest is now P1.1 million richer.
The reward money was given to the informant last May 10 by Brig. General Arnulfo Matanguihan, commander of the 302nd Brigade, at Camp Gov. Lino Chatto in Tubigon town, Bohol.
The reward money was given before the formal takeover of Lt. Colonel Eufracio Joel Malig Jr. as the commander of the Bohol-based 47th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in the presence of Maj. General Jon Aying, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division; Tubigon Mayor William Jao, Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto and Inabanga Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy.
The reward money came from President Duterte who promised to give P1 million for every Abu Sayyaf member either killed or captured, who were being hunted down in Bohol. The additional P100,000 came from an anonymous donor through the provincial government.
The homeowner got the entire amount of the bounty for tipping off authorities of the presence of Kiram, who was captured by the police but was later killed for allegedly trying to escape.
The habal-habal driver, on the other hand, shared the amount with a mother and son and another tipster whose phone was snatched by one of the Abu Sayyaf members who used it to contact Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza and her husband, suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber Renierlo Dongon for possible rescue.
Nobleza and Dongon were arrested when they refused to stop at a checkpoint manned by the army on the evening of April 22 during the pursuit conducted by government troops against the bandits.
A capitol official in Bohol said that even if four Abu Sayyaf members were killed during the April 22 clash in Clarin town, the reward was given only for the death of Melloria because the three others were slain during the pursuit operation.
The four informants divided the P1.1-million bounty based on a computation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Melloria, a native of Barangay Napo, Inabanga town who escorted a band of at least 10 Abu Sayyaf members to his hometown, was killed after the authorities were tipped off regarding the presence of the bandit group hiding in a cave in Barangay Bacani, Clarin.
Kiram, on the other hand, was one of the three remaining Abu Sayyaf members being hunted by the authorities.
Hungry, he decided to come out of hiding to ask for food in Tubigon town, about 14 km from Clarin.
Although the homeowner fed him, he also informed the police about his unexpected visitor who was eventually arrested and interrogated at Bohol Provincial Police Office.
Kiram, however, was killed by the police less than 24 hours after his capture when he allegedly tried to escape while being transported to the Bohol District Jail.
Two of the remaining Abu Sayyaf stragglers are still at large and subjects of a manhunt.
They were last spotted about 7:30 a.m. on Monday in Barangay Candungao, a hinterland village in San Isidro town, at least 17 km from Barangay Tanawan in Tubigon town.
Dario (family name withheld), a resident of Barangay Candungao, went to the field in a hilly area of the village to check his ginger plantation.
He was about 60 meters from his farm when he saw two men resting under a tree.
“Nakuyawan ko kay naay duha ka tawo unya dili nako mga kaila (I was frightened because there were two men whom I didn’t know),” he said.
One of them had slightly shaven head and was wearing shoes. The other wore slippers and wrapped a shirt around his head, bringing a paddle and a sack.
One of the men winked at him, prompting him to run and report the incident to the police.
Some residents were scared of the reported presence of the Abu Sayyaf stragglers and had contemplated on temporarily leaving their homes.
The two might have been hiding in the forests and thick vegetation of San Isidro.
According to Capt. Jojo Mascariñas, spokesman of the 302nd Brigade, the two Abu Sayyaf stragglers can survive in the forest of Bohol which is abundant with coconut trees and other edible fruits.
But he added they would have difficulty getting out of the province because they didn’t know Bohol’s topography.
“They just kept on avoiding the people and would go where their feet would take them,” he added.
The hinterlands of Clarin, Tubigon and Inabanga, where the Abu Sayyaf members were hiding, has a lot of coconuts, bananas and several fruit-bearing trees that could provide food for the stragglers.
They can drink water from the springs and rivers in the areas.
Mascariñas said Kiram survived by eating coconut meat for many days.
“Our body can survive as long as there is water and food that contains sugar,” he added.
According to authorities, the two ASG remnants didn’t pose a threat to the people since they were no longer armed.
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