Even if there have been no recent terrorist threats, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remained on alert against acts of reprisal from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) whose members sent to infiltrate the province in April were wiped out by government troops in just over a month.
According to 302nd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Matanguihan, they are not discounting the possibility of retaliatory attacks by the ASG after 11 of its members were killed in Bohol from April 11 to May 15.
The AFP continued to coordinate with other security forces including the Philippine National Police including its Maritime Group and the Philippine Coast Guard in securing waters surrounding the province to thwart another attack, said Matanguihan.
Local government officials have also pushed for the improvement of security monitoring down at the purok and barangay levels which has been proven to be effective as it helped to foil activities of the ASG in Bohol.
The capture and killing of all the militants since their entry into Bohol last month were results of the conveyance of factual information from villagers to authorities.
However, Matanguihan urged the public to remain vigilant even after the bandits were all killed and the province was cleared of ASG presence since Monday.
The military and police continued to implement tight security measures in Bohol, particularly after reports noting that at least 20 armed men arrived in neighbor province Negros Oriental on Wednesday afternoon surfaced.
On Monday, suspected ASG members “Abu Asis” and “Abu Ubayda,” the last remnants of the bandits who infiltrated Bohol last month were killed by government troops in Pangangan Island, Calape.
The AFP has since declared Bohol “Abu Sayyaf-free.”
“Ngayon, finally, wala na talagang naiwan sa mga terrorists na pumunta dito sa Bohol,” said Matanguihan after the deaths of Asis and Ubayda. (R. Tutas)