Diocese calls for calm, vigilance amid Abu Sayyaf presence in Bohol

Diocese calls for calm, vigilance amid Abu Sayyaf presence in Bohol

PPDO Bohol

MANILA— The Roman Catholic Diocese of Talibon in Bohol called for sobriety following the clash between the government troops and the Abu Sayyaf in the area.

Talibon Diocesan Social Action Director Fr. Chito Lozada allayed fears of the public, saying that the security forces assured that they are in control of the situation.

“Be calm because our military has already assured us that they are in control of the area,” Lozada said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas on Thursday.

“It is but natural for people to feel fear and panic given the reports that they (ASG) are here or there,” he said.

Still, the priest called on the public to maintain vigilance, especially when they are outdoors.

“Let us not be complacent as we really do not know where they (ASG) are,” said Lozada.

Authorities are still hunting some members of the Abu Sayyaf days after the bloody clash between the soldiers and bandit group in Inabanga, Bohol last April 11.

The encounter claimed 10 lives, including four security personnel. Authorities, however, are looking into claims that two of the supposed six Abu Sayyaf were civilians caught in the crossfire.

They are believed to be eyeing an attack at a meeting of trade officials of the Association of South East Asian Nations hosted by the province.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday has offered a P1 million bounty for the arrest, “dead or alive”, of each of the Abu Sayyaf members who allegedly are still in Bohol. CBCPNews