Gov. Edgar Chatto has cautioned against sowing fear and confusion because it is already—and in itself—a form of terrorism which must be avoided in order not to complicate the situation this trying time.
“If you can’t contribute anything good anyway, just don’t sow fear or confuse people,” he said in a strong message.
The mental destabilizers who simply cause unwanted panic and abuse minds are, according to the governor, not helping at all.
Chatto said the government and entire Boholano community need the help of everybody in facing the terror threat.
The governor’s statement came out timely as some stories have been concocted to sow distrust in the government.
Some who must really be bankrupt of facts or have no knowledge at all did spread a false claim that the reward to the informants who led to the capture in Clarin of the Abu Sayyaf stragglers was allegedly not given in full.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte had promised a bounty of P1 million for each surviving Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member captured, dead or alive.
A civilian informant whose tip would lead to the capture of an ASG remnant would, therefore, get a P1 million reward.
FORMULA IN GIVING BOUNTY
The bounty is always based on the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
The cash reward was released with the military, police and local government unit (LGU) officials in witness for transparency and to avoid suspicious minds from inventing tales.
In the case of the Clarin incident, only one Abu Sayyaf, Joselito Melloria, was “counted,” his capture being the result of the civilian tip of his presence relayed by some informant civilians.
Melloria was killed by the government troopers and three more bandits fell dead during the hot pursuit operation also in Clarin.
The three others killed after Melloria was a “product of the PNP intelligence engagement.”
The provincial government also promised a bounty of P100,000 per terrorist head and, using the same AFP-PNP report and formula, gave the reward.
Thus, both the P1 million and P100 rewards were given intact, not more, not less, to the “informers.”
The same formula the AFP-PNP will apply to the release of P1 million and P100 to the informants leading to the capture of ASG member Saad Samad Kiram, alias Abu Saad, in Tan-awan, Tubigon on Thursday, May 4.
The army unit in the place was tipped off about Saad who asked, in “Muslim-Tagalog tone,” for food at a house where he was even served since it was fiesta in the place.
Too suspicious about the Muslim stranger and sure that the army “back-up was already around, the house occupants and other people there decided to wrestle and tied Saad.
The turnover of the cash reward for Saad’s fall will be witnessed, too, by the AFP, PNP and LGU officials once the money (P1 million) from Pres. Duterte and P100,000 from the province are ready.
Chatto said the official recommendation report of the AFP-PNP as to who are the qualified informers to receive the bounties is awaited.
All the AFP-PNP listed informers shared the P1 million and P100,000 rewards also according to a formula, and the same will be followed in the case of Abu Saad capture’s informants.
“If we will go by the way the spreader of false stories is thinking, no one is going to trust and help the government anymore,” the governor lamented.
This can happen “if we also don’t protect the identities of the informants and we keep on posting wrong information on the social media,” he said.
Another total lie was the allegation that the reward money from the president was channeled to the province.
AFP HOLDS THE MONEY
Another total lie was the allegation that the reward money from the president was channeled or downloaded to the province.
Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao, commander of the AFP Central Command (CENTCOM), “came to hand over the P1 million from Pres. Duterte to the informers,” Chatto said, adding that “we were witnesses to it.”
In fact, the governor said, a press conference followed during which Lactao clearly said that the identities of the bounty recipients are classified information, meaning they are kept confidential.
In the wake of pure intrigues that tend to make people fear their own government and false stories to make them confused and suspect the authorities, Chatto further warned: “People of Bohol, beware of the prophets of doom.”
Authors of such acts are “worse terrorists sowing fear and hatred among the people,” the governor said.
SAAD DEATH ‘UNFORTUNATE’
Abu Saad’s death was an “unfortunate” development, said the governor who thought that the ASG remnant could, had he not died, still have more “useful” information to divulge after the initial interrogation.
This was Chatto’s instant reaction as soon as he got call from PNP Prov’l. Dir. Felipe Natividad informing him of Saad’s attempt to escape, which led to his death by bullets from his pursuing police escorts.
The incident happened while the Abu Sayyaf was “in transit” to the Bohol District Jail in Cabawan, Tagbilaran City Friday dawn.
Awakened by Natividad’s call early Friday morning, Chatto quickly instructed the Camp Dagohoy official to conduct a formal investigation on the incident.
Chatto believed Saad “could have led investigators to more information about the bandit group, their activities and plans.”
Although the ASG member might have already shared some vital information during the interrogation after his capture, the governor also believed “these might only be a tip of an iceberg.”
After Chatto’s probe order to Natividad, reports were published later on Friday that PNP Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and the Commission on Human Rights in the region would have the same incident investigated.
To many, Saad’s escape would have been a big blunder to the law enforcers had they failed to recapture the terrorist.
Chatto said capitol’s reward to the civilian informants whose vigilance delivers the Boholanos from fear and destruction “is money from all the peace-loving people of Bohol.”
Also, the governor called for the same vigilance against all other threats, including illegal drugs. (Ven rebo Arigo)