“This crisis is finally over.”
This was the statement of 302nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier. Gen. Arnulfo Matanguihan after the death of “Abu Asis,” the last remnant of the Abu Sayyaf bandits who infiltrated Bohol last month.
Asis was killed in Barangay Lawis, Pangangan Island, Calape at past 5 p.m on Monday, six hours after “Abu Ubayda” was gunned down by security forces in the same village.
Reports indicated that Asis was shot dead by Special Weapons and Tactics operatives following a tussle between the suspect and a villager.
The man identified as Crisanto Bancore reportedly saw Asis unarmed prompting him to engage the bandit in hand-to-hand combat.
Asis was reportedly flushed out of a cemetery by a military intelligence unit forcing him to move towards a residential area where he was seen by Bancore.
A few hours prior to the last encounter, Ubayda was killed by security forces after he and Asis were spotted at a security checkpoint in Barangay Lawis.
At 12 p.m., the two suspects left the house of the Tuloy family which they held hostage since Friday, said Councilor Rading Sarsuelo of Barangay Lawis in Pangganan.
The bandits then immediately fled using a stolen motorcycle.
Ubayda reportedly held the motorcycle’s driver at gunpoint while Asis commandeered the vehicle.
While travelling, the suspects were flagged down at a security checkpoint leading to the gun battle between security forces and the suspects.
Ubayda was killed while Asis was initially able to escape before he was shot dead several hours after.
Following the encounters, Matanguihan confirmed that the Abu Sayyaf men who entered Inabanga last month have all been killed.
However, Matanguihan said that both bodies will still have to be thoroughly checked to confirm their identities based on the military’s database. (Allen Doydora)