Suspected bomb-making paraphernalia and high-powered firearms were found in the possession of the five slain suspected Abu Sayyaf members in Inabanga, said a Philippine Army official.
Captain Jojo MascariÃ±as, spokesperson of the Armyâ€™s 302nd Brigade, told DYRD Balita on Wednesday that it is possible that the militants plotted to carry out a bombing.
According to MascariÃ±as, they found around the battlefield in Barangay Napo, Inabanga an M4 rifle, two M16 A1 rifles, one .45 Norinco pistol, an M203 bullet, an 81mm mortar cartridge, two short-housing magazine assemblies, three detonating cords, an ICOM radio, flashlight, 49 blasting caps, a blasting cap with cord, two surgical forceps, a plastic container, switch board, five Korans, an electric soldering iron, 27 glue sticks, eight improvised explosive device assemblies, an electrical cutter, scissor, screw driver, an LED component, 22 silicon-controlled rectifiers, eight slide switches, 86 red lights, 46 resistors, three cellphone batteries, two pressure clips, 10 Christmas light bulbs and three pump boats.
With the recent findings, MascariÃ±as expressed relief that the Abu Sayyaf was thwarted in fulfilling their purpose after five of the bandits including their leader were killed during an over 20-hour siege at the remote village of Napo which started early Tuesday.
The army and police started clearing operations yesterday and confirmed the death of Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Muamar Askali, alias Abu Rami.
According to MascariÃ±as, the Abu Sayyafâ€™s alleged contact in Bohol, Joselito Melloria who owned the house where the militants were believed to have been holed up, was also killed during the clash.
However, Napo residents have claimed that they have spotted Melloria wounded in the area after the military cleared the village on Wednesday.
MascariÃ±as previously reported that the intense gun battle left three soldiers and a policeman dead.
He identified the fatalities in the governmentâ€™s side as 2nd Lt. Estilito Saldua Jr., Cpl. Miljune Cajaban, Sgt. John Dexter Duero, and Cpl. Cris Jude Porlas and PO2 Rey Anthony Nazareno, a police Special Weapons and Tactics operative.
The bodies of the three slain soldiers were taken to the armyâ€™s battalion headquarters in Tubigon where a ceremony was held in their honor.
Meanwhile, Salduaâ€™s body is set to be transported to his hometown in Batangas today, said MascariÃ±as. (Allen Doydora)